COVID-19: Support Measures for Fish Harvesters
On May 14, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of up to $469,4 million to support Canadian fishers affected by the covid-19 pandemic. This announcement is for the implementation of two programs: the Fish Harvester Benefit and the Fish Harvester Grant.
Fish Harvester Benefit
This benefit is for eligible self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons crew who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). To be eligible, the fisher must have experienced a 25% drop in income in the 2020 taxation year when compared with 2019 or 2019.
The benefit will cover 75% of the income losses incurred this year after the 25% income drop threshold. The maximum assistance that the fisher will be able to receive will correspond to the maximum payment provided by the SSUC, i.e. $847 per week (for a maximum period of 12 weeks). Several eligibility criteria have been identified.
Fish Harvester Grant
This program will provide grants to assist fish harvesters affected by the pandemic who are not eligible for assistance from the Canada Business Emergency Account or equivalent measures1. This financial assistance is intended to provide more liquidity to cover business costs that cannot be deferred (maximum $40 000). It will take the form of a grant of up to $10,000 to self-employed fish harvesters with a valid fishing licence. The amount of assistance will vary depending on the level of the fish harvesters’ historic fishing revenue in 2018 or 2019.
In the case of these two programmes, applications must be submitted between 24 August 2020 and 21 September 2020.
In addition to these two measures, it is expected that changes will be made to Employment Insurance (EI) to allow self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons to receive EI benefits based on insurable earnings from previous seasons (winter and summer claims).
Note: The information has been simplified for communication purposes. For detailed information, please refer to the official press release.