HomeOpinionSeafood Sector Must be Included as an Essential Service

Seafood Sector Must be Included as an Essential Service

The following letter was addressed to Bill Blair, Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

On behalf of the Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC), the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), and their members located from coast to coast to coast, I am requesting that the seafood sector be included in the federal government’s list of essential services.

As you may know, FCC and CAIA are the voices of Canada’s fish and seafood industry, promoting a healthy resource and working to develop an economically sound, market-driven, competitively-structured industry that offers harvesters, seafood farmers, employees and processors secure and stable opportunities and a sustainable future.

Our industry supports the employment of over 80,000 Canadians, mainly in coastal and rural communities. Our industry also is an essential piece of Canada’s food supply chain, providing grocers and other retail outlets with goods Canadians need during the current situation.

In the Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce by the United States Department of Homeland Security, it included “food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees — to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc…) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities and the production of food packaging.”

The list of essential services recently published by governments in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario have also included our industry.

In order to continue providing fish and seafood products to Canadians and being an important part of Canada’s food supply chain, we are requesting that our industry be included in the federal government’s list of essential services.

Paul Lansbergen
President, Fisheries Council of Canada

Tim Kennedy
President and CEO, Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance