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June 29, 2020
Honourable Bernadette Jordan
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard
200 Kent Street
Ottawa, ON KIA 0E6
Re: Fish Harvester Benefit and Fish Harvester Grant Programs
Dear Minister Jordan,
As the Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc., our political advocacy organization represents 26 Northern First Nations, many of whom are reliant upon the commercial fishing industry. With the COVID- 19 pandemic, the industry and commercial fishers have been heavily impacted here in Northern Manitoba, as in all other inland fisheries in Canada.
On May 14, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Fish Harvester Benefit and Fish Harvester Grant programs to assist commercial fish harvesters with their livelihoods suffering from the impacts of this pandemic. We have had numerous inquiries as to the status and implementation of the announced assistance programs by the Prime Minister and the response from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been to wait for an “announcement.”
I am sure you will agree that quite a length of time has passed since the Prime Minister announced these two fisher assistance programs. We request that the implementation of these programs be expedited and implemented as soon as possible on an urgent and priority basis.
We look forward hearing more details via the announcement as soon as possible so we may be able to assist our First Nation citizens with accessing assistance for their livelihoods.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact my assistant Clyde Flett by phone at (204) 390- 2702 or by email at [email protected]
Grand Chief Garrison Settee
cc: MKO Chiefs
Grand ChiefArlen Dumas, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Grand Chief Jeny Daniels, Southern Chief Organization, Manitoba
President David Chartrand, Manitoba Metis Federation
Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte, Prince Albert Grand Council
Dave Bergunder, Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation
The Sarah Guillemard, Minister of Conservation and Climate, Manitoba
The Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Canada
The Marc Miller, Minster of Indigenous Services, Canada