CANADA: 2003 WTO Trade Policy Review (TPR)

As for the US i am copying hereunder a fwe questions (put by the US) to Canada at the occasion of Canada's 2003 TPR's at the WTO

Question 10

Please provide further explanation as to the requirements for commercial fishers to qualify for assistance under the New Brunswick Fisheries Development Board. Could you please also explain to what extent support through this program contributes to the creation or maintenance of capacity in the fisheries sector? More specifically, how are factors such as oversupply and overcapacity taken into account when determining the amount of support given to commercial fishers through this program?


The requirements for commercial fishers to qualify for assistance under the Fisheries Development Board are given below:

Applicants must not have any loans in arrears with the Department.
Applicant must be a certified commercial fisherman and must provide a copy of any relevant fishing licenses.
Applicants must provide a copy of their income tax returns including the statement of income and expenses of fishing for the past three years.
Applicants must pledge their licences in support of any loan provided.
An applicant who has been convicted of an offence related to illegal fishing activity within the last 5 years may not be eligible for financial assistance.
Applicant must have attempted to obtain the required financing from conventional sources such as banks or financial institutions.

In February 2002 the Department of Business New Brunswick implemented a “need criteria”, as outlined in the 6th bullet above, whereby the Applicant must demonstrate that funding is not available elsewhere from conventional lenders on reasonable terms and conditions.
In addition, in order to qualify for support the Applicant must demonstrate the viability of the proposal.

The vessels considered for funding are matched to the licenses and quotas held by the fishermen, and these licences and quotas are controlled and allocated by the Government of Canada. Issues of supply and capacity therefore are not directly considered under this program as they fall under the purview of the federal government, which is responsible for resource management, and quota and license allocation.
It was noted that, as per the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, “the Licensing Policy is an integral part of a number of federal government initiatives to restructure the commercial fisheries and lay the foundation for a fishery that is environmentally sustainable and economically viable. The objectives of the policy are to reduce capacity, improve the economic viability of participants in commercial fishing operations and prevent future growth of capacity in the commercial fishery.[2]

Question 11

Based on our review of public information regarding fisheries programs, we have identified the following additional programs:
a) Fisheries Diversification Program
b) Government Restrictions on Licences for Processing Plants
c) Subsidized loans to the Fisheries Industry
d) Local Processing Requirement for Shrimp
e) Federal and Provincial Tax Breaks for Diesel Fuel
Please provide information regarding the following programs and explain whether they will be notified to the Subsidies Committee under Article 25 of the Subsidies Agreement.

The above programs or initiatives have not been notified because it is considered that they do not fall within the provisions of Article 25 of the ASCM.

[1] Fisheries Development Program guidelines (loans for commercial fishing), Department of Business New Brunswick
[2] From the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website: http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rm-gr/lic-dp/index-e.html

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