Gail Shea not ruling out ice compensation for fishermen
The federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans says she's open to the possibility of providing ice compensation to fishermen unable to go fishing due to ice conditions.
Gail Shea said ice compensation has been provided to fishermen previously when they were unable to get their boats out on the water.
Earlier this week, Earle McCurdy, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union, said Ottawa should be providing compensation to fishermen who otherwise would be earning an income if it wasn't for the ice keeping their boats docked.
Shea said the federal government and her department are monitoring the situation to decide what needs to be done.
"I understand there are still two areas that are waiting to get out and we are open to solutions that would help the situation, however long they're delayed," she said.
"If we need to extend the season, and that's something that science would support, we'll certainly look at doing that."
According to Shea, she's looked into what the federal government has done in the past for guidance this season.
"It was late June, I guess, before the fishery actually got out. There were a number of fisheries around Atlantic Canada who were late getting started because of ice conditions and then, when they did get started, the start certainly was very slow getting away just because of water temperatures," said Shea.
The department has yet to make a decision about whether to provide ice compensation to fishermen through the EI system.