A new national organization, the Canadian Aquaculture Suppliers Association, formed to promote the small and medium enterprises that stock and equip Canada's growing aquaculture sector, has launched. The association aims to encourage the growth of Canada's aquacultural sector, advance the role suppliers play in the industry and be an advocate to protect the thousands of jobs aquaculture suppliers provide to Canadian families.
The Canadian Aquaculture Suppliers Association is asking the federal government to support confidence-building measures, such as meaningful and timely salmon farming license renewals, that will promote job creation and investments in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. This will also reassure the companies involved in the sector that will benefit from the renewal of salmon farming licenses.
According to the association, the government should reassess its decision not to renew the salmon farm licenses in the Discovery Islands. This decision threatens Canadian food security, local jobs and businesses. It has the potential to adversely impact future investments in aquaculture, not only in British Columbia but also in provinces on the Atlantic Coast, in particular Newfoundland and Labrador, where thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investments might be at risk.
In British Columbia, 20% of all jobs in salmon farming are held by Indigenous peoples, and 80% of current production is under agreement with First Nations communities. It is estimated that the federal government's decision to halt the renewal of the Discovery Islands permits has resulted in some $1.4 billion in planned national investment being frozen.
“Canadians are seeing their food bills increase dramatically thanks to inflation and stretched-thin global supply chains. Farmed salmon, responsibly cultivated in Canada, will lessen this impact, support local businesses, jobs, and First Nations along with benefiting Canada's post-COVID recovery,” James added. “There's a lot at stake, both near-term into the future. Federal and provincial decision-makers, including Ministers Joyce Murray and Chrystia Freeland, along with Premiers Horgan, Furey, Higgs, and Houston, need to stand up, be counted and support Canadian jobs, businesses and future investment.”