Canada: Harper Government Unveils Big Dredging Plans
Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Member of Parliament for Delta—Richmond East, on behalf of the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced that the Government of Canada will invest $7.3 million in repair, maintenance and construction projects at small craft harbours in British Columbia.
“The Harper Government understands that safe, efficient harbours are essential for a healthy fishing industry,” said MP Findlay. “We are pleased to invest in harbour infrastructure for the hardworking fishermen and women in British Columbia.”
“Our Government is committed to making sure that fishermen have safe and well-kept harbours across the country. Never before has such high priority been placed on Small Craft Harbours nor have infrastructure investments been so extensive,” said Minister Ashfield. “Fishermen and women contribute to a healthy economy and we are pleased to provide them with the harbour infrastructure they need to earn a living and support their families.”
This year’s investment of $51.7 million will fund major repair, maintenance and construction projects, as well as dredging, at approximately 95 fishing harbours in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. In addition to these major projects, minor repairs and maintenance projects will proceed throughout the year as needed.
In recent years, the Government of Canada has made significant investments in small craft harbours. In 2007, permanent annual funding for the Small Craft Harbours Program was increased by $20 million. Canada’s Economic Action Plan, announced in Budget 2009, provided $200 million over two years to accelerate maintenance and repairs and carry out necessary dredging at small craft harbours across the country. In March 2011, an investment of $71.6 million was announced to clean-up and repair storm-damaged small craft harbours in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Manitoba.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada undertakes these projects in cooperation with the local harbour authorities that manage and operate facilities for local users. Close cooperation between the Department and harbour authorities allows the federal government to continue to provide an operable system of harbours and facilities throughout Canada in support of the commercial fishing industry.
Dredging Today Staff, July 17, 2012; Image: dfo-mpo