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Eskasoni First Nation creates opportunity with new facility

by pnationtalk on May 21, 201984 Views

New seafood storage system enables Indigenous community to hire more residents, build on existing fishery operations

May 21, 2019 – Sydney, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Indigenous business growth is a key component that will help strengthen Canada’s development, promote progressive and prosperous relationships, and create a higher standard of living for all Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada has helped Eskasoni Band Council establish Eskasoni Cold Logistics Limited, a new cold storage facility, to diversify its business offerings to seafood operators and build economic prosperity for the community.

Positioned as a key service provider for the region’s most dominant industry, Eskasoni Cold Logistics Limited acts as a shipping, storage and logistics management site for seafood caught in the Atlantic region. The 79,000-square-foot cold storage facility has the capacity to store up to five million pounds of frozen seafood and upwards of 250,000 pounds of live seafood, such as lobster. Now that the facility is operational, the company has hired five full-time employees and plans to add five more full-time jobs in the near future.

The Honourable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney – Victoria today announced Government of Canada support to Eskasoni First Nation for the project. MP Eyking spoke on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA); the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services; and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which involves targeted actions to create opportunities for all Atlantic Canadians, support long-term growth and position the region to capitalize on emerging opportunities.


“Our federal government and the communities of Unama’ki are working closely together on new and innovative projects such as this one. Eskasoni’s cold storage facility will be an important source of revenue that will create employment opportunities, while supporting Cape Breton’s fishery operations and elevating the community as a valuable partner in the fishing and seafood industry.”

–       The Honourable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney – Victoria, on behalf the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA, and of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Congratulations to Chief Denny and Eskasoni First Nation on the opening of this impressive new cold storage facility. Indigenous Services Canada is proud to invest in this First Nation-driven project that will support the continued growth of Atlantic Canada’s key industry while also creating employment and economic development opportunities for the community.”

–       The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services

“Eskasoni First Nation, along with myself and council, are so excited to participate in another important aspect of the fishing sector. Today, with our commercial fishery contributing to the total allowable catch and this new project, we now have the capacity to store live and frozen species. The facility will also provide work opportunities to our band members, which is always at the forefront of our investments. Eskasoni Corporate, through the guidance of Steve Parsons, initiated and guided this new venture that demonstrates our willingness as a community to build on our Open For Business strategy as we continue to welcome new opportunities in our community.”

–       Chief Leroy Denny, Eskasoni First Nation

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada contributed $500,000 (non-repayable) through ACOA’s Business Development Program(BDP), Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) contributed $250,000 through the Community Opportunity Readiness Program; and, through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF), Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia are providing a total of $124,000.
  • Eskasoni Band Council owns and operates a thriving fish harvesting operation, Crane Cove Seafoods, which is one of the largest employers in the community. It holds commercial fishing licenses and rights across the province.
  • The community purchased the former Co-op Atlantic Distribution facility in Sydney, where it established Eskasoni Cold Logistics Limited, to fill a need for live and frozen product storage facility following accelerated industry growth.
  • Eskasoni Cold Logistics Limited began operations in September 2017 and, at the peak of its first year, stored nearly three million pounds of product destined for international markets for four major Atlantic seafood companies.
  • The funding enabled Eskasoni to purchase the storage system, blast freezing equipment and forklifts, complete building renovations and more.
  • Eskasoni First Nation is the largest Indigenous community in Nova Scotia and operates its own healthcare centre, grocery store, fishery and arena.
  • Eskasoni Corporate Division is a department of Eskasoni Band Council that looks after the ownership and operations of the Band’s various companies and assets.


Chris Brooks
Director of Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)

Kevin Deagle
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services

Indigenous Services Canada

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Steve Parsons
General Manager
Eskasoni Corporate Division


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