Senator announces funding for harbour improvements

Christopher Vaughan
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Lourdes, Fischells among those chosen for support

A dozen small craft harbours along the province's west and south coasts will receive $6.8 million for repairs and improvement projects from the federal government.

Senator Ethel Cochrane made the announcement last week in Lourdes, on behalf of Gail Shea, fisheries and oceans minister.

Lourdes Mayor Henry Gaudon speaks with Senator Ethel Cochrane after the funding announcement. Christopher Vaughan photos

A dozen small craft harbours along the province's west and south coasts will receive $6.8 million for repairs and improvement projects from the federal government.

Senator Ethel Cochrane made the announcement last week in Lourdes, on behalf of Gail Shea, fisheries and oceans minister.

"It is no secret that small craft harbours generate significant income right across the country," said the senator, noting the federal government is responsible for more than 1,100 of these harbours nation-wide.

"After all, they are the site of nearly 80 per cent of the fish landings, valued at $1.5 billion. And the ripple effect flows from those harbours right through the towns and villages they serve."

In addition to the economic effects, she noted the harbours also help maintain a community's pride in its traditions.

Harbours in Lourdes and Fischells will receive funding, in addition to harbours in Black Duck Cove, Blue Cove, Castor's River North, English Harbour East, Fortune, Galtois, Harbour Breton, Sandyville (Dawson's Cove), and Trout River.

"As you can imagine, we have more requests for help than we can possibly respond to each year," said Senator Cochrane. "The good news for Lourdes and many other communities throughout the province is that your harbour has been identified as a priority."

The projects are part of the federal government's Small Craft Harbours Program, which is run in co-operation with local harbour authorities that manage and operate facilities for local fishers.

"For the town and this area, I believe the co-operation between government and the harbour authority is a real boon here," said Lourdes Mayor Henry Gaudon.

"It will enable the fisher people to much better do their job in the fishing industry. And I believe also the assessments and everything else that they're going to do will ensure sustainability of the harbour authority here and its facilities."

Among the fisher people on hand for the announcement was Ruben Young of Lourdes.

"It sounds good to me," said Mr. Young, of the funding for the Lourdes harbour.

He estimated he's been fishing for 35 or 40 years, and that it was getting more and more difficult each year to make a profit.

"It's a living, that's all," he said.

editor@thegeorgian.ca

Geographic location: Black Duck, English Harbour East, Sandyville Trout River

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