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Subject: Shellfish business to create jobs and revenues for Comox First
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 13:05:57 -0500
Attention News Editors:
Shellfish business to create jobs and revenues for Comox First Nation
VICTORIA, BC, March 6 /CNW/ - The Honourable Stephen Owen, Secretary of
State for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, on behalf of the Honourable
Robert D. Nault, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development,
announced today an investment of $54,000 to support the Comox First Nation in
developing a shellfish aquaculture operation. Once the primary and intertidal
sites have reached their full potential, the business could create up to 40
full time jobs and annual revenues of $2.1 million for the Comox First Nation.
"It is a very exciting time for the Comox First Nation as we participate
in an economic development opportunity initiated by First Nations and the
Government of Canada," said Chief Ernest Hardy. "This economic opportunity
allows us to move forward in ensuring the sustainability of the Comox First
Nation and it allows us to re-establish our cultural and economic ties to
Baynes Sound and Comox Harbour area, which was extensively used by our
In addition to jobs, this project will create significant number of
training opportunities for Comox members to develop skills related to the
shellfish aquaculture business.
"Canada's economic and social well being benefits from strong, self
sufficient Aboriginal people and communities," said Minister Owen. "By
supporting business opportunities such as this, the Government of Canada is
helping to encourage greater participation by First Nations in the economy."
The Comox First Nation's Shellfish Program is currently working on the
governance, strategic planning and operational stages of the project, while
they wait for tenure applications to be formally accepted by Lands and Water
British Columbia. The Comox First Nation has been proactive in establishing
good working relationships with local municipal government and it is
anticipated that work could begin on some of their inter tidal sites by April
The Comox First Nation is located on Vancouver Island near Comox and has
a membership of 274 people.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is working in partnership with
First Nations to maximize Aboriginal participation in the Canadian economy.
Through its economic development programs, INAC is helping to foster strong
First Nation communities and economies by facilitating partnerships with the
private sector, reducing obstacles and increasing access to business
opportunities. Since April 2002, INAC has invested $5.6 million to support 52
projects in British Columbia.
This release is also available in electronic format at www.inac.gc.ca
For further information: please contact: Karl Freeborn, Communications
Officer, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 604-666-2944
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