Provincial update on spring fishing season, supports for children and youth

Today, Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox provided an update on provincial efforts to support the Island’s commercial fishing industry and the province’s decision to extend the deadline for jobs for youth. 

The commercial fishing industry is federally regulated and the Province of Prince Edward Island is calling on the federal government to ensure a timely and equitable decision on the future of the spring season. 

“So many Island families are tied to the livelihood of the fishing industry, which is also important to our Island economy. As a province, we are operating under the hope that there will be a spring fishing season. We know that there are many questions about the fishing sector and Islanders are seeking clarity and equity in the federal decision-making process. The final decision must and will must come from the federal government, and we are asking them to show determination on this file, to address our concerns and to find a way for the region to get through this.”

-  Premier Dennis King

The Province of Prince Edward Island is working with its regional and federal counterparts, as well as the fisheries, aquaculture, and processing sectors, to address industry concerns and develop supports and programs for all sectors.

Watch the April 7, 2020 update in YouTube

“We have been and will continue to call on the federal government to give us an indication of what the future holds so that our industry can be as prepared as possible,” said Minister Fox. “Whatever our path forward looks like, first and foremost, it needs to ensure the safety of Islanders. The Province of Prince Edward Island will do everything we can to support industry once a decision is made.”

Minister Fox also announced that the province is extending the deadline for Jobs for Youth to April 30 to allow employers ample time to apply for wage subsidies from this program.

Employers can apply by visiting princeedwardisland.ca/jobsforyouth.

Approved businesses will be posted to the province’s website and young people will apply directly to the jobs that interest them. The Jobs for Youth Program normally supports 400 students annually.

Minister Fox reiterated the province’s commitment to helping Islanders return to work and to help businesses and organizations hire the staff they need and that it will continue to review its programs to ensure that they best serve Islanders when the province moves into a period of recovery. 

Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning Brad Trivers provided an update on initiatives through his department to support children, youth, teachers and essential workers during COVID-19 that include emergency child care services, at home learning, and the school food program which all began last week. 

“During these unimaginable times, we are reminded of the very important role of our health care professionals, essential service workers and our educators,” said Minister Trivers. “Our schools are at the heart of our communities and they are reaching out to support our children and families in ways that we’ve never experienced before. We also recognize the enormous efforts of other organizations who are providing support and resources to Island children and families.” 

Teachers are working closely with staff in the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, the Public Schools Branch and Commission scolaire de langue française to provide the best home learning supports for Prince Edward Island’s 20,000 students. Home learning materials for students in kindergarten through grade 12 are available online and printed learning materials will be safely delivered to families who have limited or no access to technology or the internet. 

Minister Trivers also provided an update on the School Food Team initiative that, in partnership with the Department of Social Development and Housing, PEI Home and School Federation and Breakfast Club of Canada, is now providing nearly 3,000 healthy meals and snacks to Island students across the province this week. This initiative is being offered in absence of the regular school breakfast and lunch programs during the school closure period. Island families interested in accessing this program are encouraged to call (902) 368-5155 or email supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca

Additionally, almost 600 families have applied for Emergency Child Care to date, with some opting for home-based care. Minister Trivers noted that 11 emergency child care centres are now operating across the province and 13 more are ready when needed. 

Minister Trivers reminded Islanders about the services available online through the public libraries and invited Islanders to share their stories of living in the pandemic with the Public Archives. 

For more information on the provincial government’s response to COVID-19, including resources, program applications and important public health information, visit: www.princeedwardisland.ca/COVID19

Media Contact: 
Amanda Hamel
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Office of the Premier
(902) 368-4400

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