$20M for lobster industry promised by Conservatives

A re-elected Conservative government would invest $20 million in Canada's lobster industry, party leader Stephen Harper announced in P.E.I. Thursday.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper makes his first visit of the federal election campaign to P.E.I.

Stephen Harper announced support for Canada's lobster industry during a stop in P.E.I. Thursday. (CBC)

A re-elected Conservative government would invest $20 million in Canada's lobster industry, party leader Stephen Harper announced in P.E.I. Thursday.

Harper made the announcement in New Annan, which is in the Malpeque riding. Liberal MP Wayne Easter won that riding by fewer than 1,000 votes in 2011. New Annan is also right next door to the Egmont riding, which is held by Gail Shea, the Conservatives' only MP on the Island.

Spread over three years, the lobster industry investment would be split into $15 million for marketing and promotion and $5 million for research to inform decisions on fishing seasons, licences and harvesting. That research would be done in collaboration with provinces and universities.

Harper noted that lobster is Canada's single most economically important fishery, with annual landings worth $620 million a year.

"The world loves Canadian lobster. They are an iconic product for us," he said.

Harper said that recent trade deals negotiated by his government would eliminate tariffs on Canada's lobster exports to South Korea and Europe. He said Asia and Europe will be a key focus for marketing under the new program.

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