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June 27, 2014
For immediate release

Ministers working together to support Canadian Fishing and Aquaculture Industries

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development

Labour shortages in the seafood processing sector were front and centre as the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers gathered in Calgary, says Ron MacKinley, Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development.

“Several ministers voiced concerns about the need to attract more workers to the seafood processing industry,” said Minister MacKinley. “Recent changes to temporary foreign worker policies announced by federal Minister of Employment Jason Kenney stand to have a detrimental impact on processors which will in turn affect the fishery. I am asking the minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Hon. Gail Shea, to help us out to ensure processors have access to a stable workforce in order to deliver their products to market.”

Minister MacKinley said he will continue to work with his fellow fisheries and labour ministers from across Canada to address concerns on behalf of fishers and processors.

Ministers attending the meetings also received updates on the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Proposed regulatory policies for invasive species to help safeguard valuable waterways were debated and Atlantic ministers gathered to discuss various aspects of the lobster fishing and processing sectors.

Prince Edward Island is now preparing to host the 2014 annual meeting of the Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers in October.

“We need to find solutions that work for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors,” said Minister MacKinley. “The entire fishing sector is a strong contributor to the Island economy with a value of approximately $350 million. I look forward to welcoming colleagues from around the region to Prince Edward Island this fall. We will discuss the importance of this vital industry while touring several fisheries and aquaculture operations to showcase the work that is taking place in communities across our province.”

Media Contact: Major Stewart
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