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Feds launch $325 million Atlantic fisheries fund

<p>Premier Dwight Ball sits with federal cabinet minister Judy Foote in this file photo, taken during a funding announcement at Memorial University last year.</p>
<p>Premier Dwight Ball sits with federal cabinet minister Judy Foote in this file photo, taken during a funding announcement at Memorial University last year.</p>

Federal Minister Judy Foote announced Friday a $325 million fisheries fund for Atlantic Canada, which government says will help strengthen the economy and increase employment opportunities for those in the maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Premier Dwight Ball implied there is more money to come, but critics were extremely skeptical, since the announcement looks like a drastic reduction in what was previously promised.
Ball said roughly $100 million of the $325 million will come to Newfoundland and Labrador.
This appears to be at least part of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) fisheries innovation fund that was promised to this province.

RELATED LINK:
CETA $400-M fisheries fund not yet a done deal

Foote said the new fund will be "flexible," but for the moment, there aren't a lot of specific details about how the $325 million would be split among the four Atlantic provinces.
The CETA fund was supposed to be $400 million for Newfoundland and Labrador alone, and the Liberal Party promised during the election to uphold that commitment. It's not clear why the other Atlantic provinces are involved, and it's not clear why it's less money.
The original fund was supposed to be cost-shared between Ottawa and the province on a 70-30 basis. Media briefing materials Friday said the money will still be cost-shared, but the numbers aren't known.
"This is not the end," Ball said,  adding that ultimately the money will be more than any previous government commitments.
Ball said one of the big benefits is flexibility, transitioning the fishery towards groundfish.
This comes at a time when the crab fishery is in crisis, with stocks crashing.

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