ERIEAU, ON, Feb. 14, 2019 /CNW/ - Communities across Canada are supported by small craft harbours that provide the commercial fishing industry with safe and accessible facilities. With approximately 44,000 Canadians employed in this sector, the Government of Canada is making investments to renew its network of small craft harbours and work with municipalities and other stakeholders to enhance local communities.
Member of Parliament for York South – Weston and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the Government of Canada is investing over $2.76 million for infrastructure improvements at three Ontario small craft harbours in the communities of Rondeau (Erieau), Wheatley, and the Town of Lakeshore.
We are investing $1.66 million in the Rondeau (Erieau) Harbour, a large commercial fishing harbour on Lake Erie that is the homeport to dozens of local and transient commercial fishing vessels. The project will replace the existing timber piles with steel pipe piles of four jetties and replace the concrete decking on six jetties. The project was awarded to East Elgin Concrete Forming. Work started in the fall of 2018 and will be completed by March 2019.
Wheatley Harbour, the largest freshwater fishing harbour in the world and largest commercial fishing harbour in the Central and Arctic Region, will receive $244,000 in funding. This investment will rehabilitate a timber pile wall and a new asphalt deck, further preventing erosion damage to the newly rehabilitated east wall. The project was awarded to Goodreau Excavating and construction is expected to start in February 2019.
Another significant investment under Budget 2018 valued at $860,000 is directed towards the reconstruction project at the Small Craft Harbour Thames River facility. East Elgin Concrete Forming Limited will use the funding to rehabilitate sections of timber crib wall structures with new steel sheet pile walls, concrete capping, boat launch ramp repairs and a new asphalt parking lot. Construction is underway and will be completed by the end of May 2019. Once the repair work has been completed Small Craft Harbours will transfer ownership of the Thames River facility to the Town of Lakeshore.
"We have listened to the people of Rondeau (Erieau), Wheatley, and the Town of Lakeshore, and we are investing in these three harbours to help the commercial fishing industry and local recreation and tourism industries. We are investing in people, promoting inclusive growth and building stronger and safer communities. The work carried out will not only renew and maintain the infrastructure that is essential to the region, but also stimulate job opportunities and development that will benefit fishermen and their families, residents and visitors alike, all in support our local communities."
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
"Our government is making unprecedented investments to build communities in the 21st century. Today, we are announcing investments in three Ontario Small Craft Harbours. These investments are supporting the fishing industry—a key economic sector that helps support coastal communities across the country. Investments that help improve communities are a priority for our Government. When we invest in the community, Canadians and the Canadian economy benefit."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- The mandate of the Small Craft Harbours Program is to keep harbours critical to the commercial fishing industry open and in good repair. The program also seeks to transfer ownership of recreational or low activity harbours across Canada to interested third parties who are in the best position to operate them effectively and respond to the needs of the local residents and economy.
- Small craft harbours provide critical support to the commercial fishing industry, which had landings valued at almost $3.4 billion in 2017.
- Wheatley is a large class "A" core commercial fishing harbour on Lake Erie that is leased and managed by the Wheatley Harbour Authority (HA). It is the largest freshwater fishing harbour in the world and the largest commercial fishing harbour in Central and Arctic Region. Wheatley harbour is homeport to 30-35 commercial fishing vessels and 18-24 transient vessels. Annual landings for Wheatley are approximately 6,963 tonnes and have a value of about $9.7 million.
- Rondeau is also a large class "A" commercial fishing harbour on Lake Erie that is managed by the Erieau Harbour Authority. This harbour is homeport to approximately 13 to 17 commercial fishing vessels and 8 to 12 transient commercial fishing vessels. Annual landings for Rondeau are approximately 3,995 tonnes and have a value of approximately $5.9 million.
- The Thames River SCH facility (known locally as the Lighthouse Cove Pier) is a recreational harbour located at the mouth of the Thames River, directly adjacent to Lake St. Clair, in the Town of Lakeshore, Ontario. The work at Thames River harbour will include the rehabilitation of sections of timber crib wall structures with new steel sheet piles walls, concrete capping, boat launch ramp repairs and a new asphalt parking lot.
- For more information on Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Small Craft Harbours Program: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/sch-ppb/home-accueil-eng.htm
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Central & Arctic Region
For further information: Media Relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Central and Arctic Region, 204-984-4715, [email protected]