Fisheries Legacy Trust Issues Final Report

In response to changes in BC’s salmon fishery in 1997, the federal government, through Community Futures established the Fisheries Legacy Trust (Trust).  The role of the Trust was to deliver funding programs to support affected coastal communities.  The Trust has released its final report, providing a summary of programs offered between 1998-2016 to support coastal communities.

UBCM partnered with the Trust by recommending local elected officials from coastal communities to sit with other partners on a Steering Committee to review applications and determine funding allocations. Over the years a number of mayors served on the Steering Committee and we wish to acknowledge and recognize the contributions of: Gillian Trumper, Jim Lornie, Gilbert Popovich, Jack Mussallem, Don Scott, Lynn Nash, Walter Jakeway and Charlie Cornfield.

One of the programs well known to coastal communities is the Pacific Fisheries Adjustment and Restructuring (PFAR) program. One element of PFAR was the Community Economic Adjustment Initiative (CEAI), a $19.7 million program designed to fund long-term, sustainable economic development and diversification in coastal communities.  Over the years, many coastal communities have benefited from CEAI’s financial support.

The Trust was one of the first examples in Canada where a coalition of non-profit community-led organizations were used to deliver a government economic adjustment program at arm’s length from the government itself. Report author, George Lerchs, notes that in addition to the welcome infusion of funds to assist struggling coastal communities, the Trust, and its programs, also realized a greater benefit by increasing the capacity of coastal communities to work together to exert control over their own futures.

Requests for information, questions or comments regarding the Fisheries Legacy Trust Final Report and supporting materials may be directed to report author George Lerchs (250-653-2353).

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