2019 Ice Assistance Emergency Program

Current status: Closed

The deadline to submit an application was August 5th, 2019. Applications postmarked after this date won't be accepted.

The Ice Assistance Emergency Program is being implemented to reduce the economic hardship faced by fish harvesters in parts of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec due to the unseasonable ice conditions in spring 2019.

Eligible applicants will be fish harvesters who had established and exhausted an Employment Insurance (EI) Fishing Benefits claim based on their fishing activity in 2018; who are not receiving or eligible for any EI benefits; and who fish out of ports in ice-affected areas.

Over the six-week duration of the program, affected fishers may be eligible for a total grant payment of up to $3,048 (up to $508 per week). The program duration covers the time between the typical season opening and the date when ice conditions are expected to improve enough to fish.

Areas and periods covered by the program in 2019

Geographic boundaries and program periods were as follows.

Eligible ice affected areas Program period (6 weeks)
Notre Dame Bay and Fogo Island area (Cape Freels to New Bay Head) May 5 to June 15
Green Bay (New Bay Head to Cape St. John) May 5 to June 15
White Bay North (Cape St. John to Cape Bauld) May 5 to June 15
Northern Peninsula – North (Ferrole Point to Cape Bauld) May 5 to June 15
Labrador Straits (Blanc Sablon to Cape St. Charles) May 5 to June 15
West Coast (South of Ferrole Point to Cape Ray) May 5 to June 15
Quebec – Lower North Shore (Blanc Sablon to Kegaska) May 5 to June 15
Labrador (North of Cape St. Charles) May 26 to July 6

Application Process

Applications for the Ice Assistance Emergency Program are now closed.


Any payment received under this program is taxable. However, income tax will not be deducted at source from these grant payments. A taxation information slip will be issued in February 2020. The amount of the grant must be reported on the 2019 income tax return.

For Quebec residents, RL-1 slips (employment and other income) will also be issued.

Employment insurance

The Ice Assistance Emergency Program is not an extension of EI.

Any payment received under the program can't be used to establish a future EI claim.

Review of denied applications

If denied ice assistance benefits, fish harvester's may apply for an eligibility review. To do so, one must:

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