THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, June 18 2021 /CNW/ - Local harbours are an essential part of communities across Canada. On our coasts and inland waters more than 5,000 volunteers dedicate their time and energy to assist with the operations of small craft harbours. Small Craft Harbours is a nationwide program run by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) that helps keep our harbours safe and accessible to all fish harvesters and other community members for recreational use. DFO recognizes the importance of volunteers who work hard to provide harbour users with secure, accessible and functioning facilities.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Superior North and Minister of Health, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced that the Silver Islet Small Craft Harbour on Lake Superior is now open to the public following a major rehabilitation project.
The Silver Islet Small Craft Harbour is located approximately 90 kilometres southeast of Thunder Bay and is accessible through Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. In the past, the harbour was used by the fishing industry, boaters, kayakers, and was home to a variety of recreational activities. For safety reasons, the Silver Islet Small Craft Harbour was closed in 2013. As Silver Islet is designated a recreational harbour, DFO intends to transfer ownership to a local non-profit group, the Silver Islet Harbour Association.
On behalf of DFO, Public Services and Procurement Canada awarded the contract to Tom Jones Corporation in the amount of $2.83M. This construction project replaced the harbour's existing timber wharf structure, repaired the rubble mound breakwater, repositioned the launching ramp, and added a header dock inside the breakwater. This rehabilitation work makes this harbour safe and accessible to boaters and other users.
"Our government understands the importance of small craft harbours to coastal and inland communities. That's why we are investing in critical upgrades and repairs from coast to coast to coast. I'm pleased to see this long-awaited day has arrived, and the Silver Islet small craft harbour will be safe and accessible for residents to use this summer and for many seasons to come".
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"The community of Silver Islet is an important access point for residents and visitors to explore the beauty of Lake Superior. This significant investment in the Silver Islet Small Craft Harbour demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to safe and accessible harbours on Lake Superior. A safe, accessible and reliable harbour will play a key role in the economic growth we see in the area. Congratulations to all the people who have worked on this project to ensure we can continue to enjoy this area, a true local treasure."
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Superior North and Minister of Health
"The Silver Islet Harbour Association could not be more pleased with the recent restoration of this strategic and historic facility. On behalf of SIHA, its stakeholders, and the community of Silver Islet, we wish to thank those in our federal government and Fisheries and Oceans Canada for enabling us to continue providing public access to and safe refuge from the natural wonder that is northern Lake Superior."
Scott Cheadle, President, Silver Islet Harbour Association
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) 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. The Silver Islet Small Craft Harbour fits this criteria.
From coast to coast to coast, Fisheries and Oceans Canada owns, operates, and maintains a national system of harbours to provide commercial fish harvesters and other small craft harbour users with safe and accessible facilities. Ninety per cent of Canadian seafood goes through small craft harbours and Canada's fish harvesters depend on these facilities to support their livelihoods.
Budget 2021 proposes to provide $300 million, on a cash basis, over the next two years, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to repair, renew, and replace small craft harbours. This would support Canadians in the fishing, aquaculture, tourism, environmental, recreational, marine engineering, and construction industries, and strengthen the resilience of rural and coastal communities.
DFO keeps harbours critical to the commercial fishing industry open and in good repair.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada supports 990 harbours across Canada with more than 5,000 volunteers from harbour authorities.
For more information on Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Small Craft Harbours Program:
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada Ontario & Prairie Region
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