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We’koqma’q First Nation Getting Advanced Certification

by pnationtalk on April 11, 201960 Views

The Best Aquaculture Practices certification will build on success of local fish farm

April 11, 2019 – Whycocomagh, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Supporting certification and productivity improvements enables food industry businesses to scale-up, access global markets and help grow the Atlantic economy. That is why the Government of Canada is providing support to We’koqma’q First Nation to obtain Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification for its high-value fish farm. BAP certification will help open up new markets, grow operations, and gain efficiencies, ultimately increasing revenues and job opportunities for the First Nation community.

This well recognized certification focuses on processing, sustainability, and accountability best practices. The certification process will help the First Nation identify improvements and implement practices and policies that meet BAP standards.

Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton—Canso, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency(ACOA), announced Government of Canada support to the We’koqma’q First Nation today. The Province of Nova Scotia, through its Department of Labour and Advanced Education, is also contributing towards the project.

Economic growth and the creation of good jobs for Atlantic Canadians require innovation and diversification. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to help businesses scale-up, increase productivity and participate in the innovation economy. Projects like this also contribute to the Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.


“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment is building on our competitive advantages by helping We’koqma’q First Nation obtain Best Aquaculture Practices certification so it can boost economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for Canadians.”

-The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The We’koqma’q First Nation’s trout farm is a true success story, generating high revenue and providing employment for community members. BAP certification will enable the Band to maximize jobs and profits while continuing to move towards a fully integrated business model and foundation for sustainable prosperity.”

-Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso

“Supporting We’koqma’q First Nation’s fish farm is a positive investment that will help improve worker engagement, productivity and innovation. When employers invest in training, they’re creating an environment where their employees and business can be more competitive and succeed.

-The Honourable Labi Kousoulis, Nova Scotia Minister of Labour and Advanced Education

“Aquaculture represents the most efficient and sustainable way to grow trout to meet the market demands. We’koqma’q First Nation is proud to involved. We are market driven and want to be the best  by demonstrating to our customers that we are using responsible aquaculture practice to provide a quality product. We are proud of our employees and the great work they do every day to contribute to our success.”

-Chief Roderick Googoo, We’koqma’q First Nation

Quick facts

  • We’koqma’q First Nation officially took over the fish processing facility in 2015. At the time, it employed eight people. The facility, which now encompasses a hatchery, grow out site and processing plant, employs more than 50 We’koqma’q community members.
  •  The Government of Canada invested $217,687 in this project through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
  • The Province of Nova Scotia invested $100,000 in this project through the Department of Labour and Advanced Education’s Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive (WIPSI) program.
  • REGI’s Business Scale-up and Productivity stream program supports businesses at various stages of development, including high-growth firms, to accelerate their growth, help them scale up and enhance their productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and global markets.
  • REGI continues to build on the objectives of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan.

Associated links


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

Shannon Kerr
Media Relations Advisor
Department of Labour and Advanced Education
902-717-6061 (cell)

Chief Roderick Googoo
We’koqma’q First Nation


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