China Ocean Shipping’s (COSCO) Antwerp unloads at the Port of Prince Rupert. Ottawa has launched its public consultations for its Blue Economy Strategy for environmentally and economically sustainable ocean-based industries and uses that will better utilize the economic potential of Canada’s coastline. (file photo)

China Ocean Shipping’s (COSCO) Antwerp unloads at the Port of Prince Rupert. Ottawa has launched its public consultations for its Blue Economy Strategy for environmentally and economically sustainable ocean-based industries and uses that will better utilize the economic potential of Canada’s coastline. (file photo)

Ottawa eyes B.C. coastline for new economic vision

Public engagement begins on ambitious Blue Economy Strategy

The federal government wants to hear from British Columbians on what they want in an ambitious new plan for the province’s ocean territory that has the potential to change the provincial economic landscape.

The national Blue Economy Strategy (BES) is to position the country as a global leader in ocean-based economies that create middle-class jobs while pushing for healthier oceans and sustainable ocean industries.

Federal fisheries and oceans minister Bernadette Jordan is launching public consultations first with a series of virtual roundtables with innovators, academia, and the fishing and aquaculture sector. This week she also launched a website for general public engagement and feedback.

READ MORE: Barrels of fuel to children’s toys: B.C. shoreline cleanup nets 127 tonnes of marine debris

“Canada’s blue economy should be second to none,” Jordan said. “That’s why we’re developing a strategy to make our ocean industries more sustainable, more productive and more prosperous. This is about creating more long-term opportunities for our coastal communities, by working with the ocean on its terms. Canadians understand that action on climate change is vital to sustainability and economic growth, and building a thriving, sustainable ocean economy is no different. The Blue Economy Strategy will help steer federal investments and actions, on all three coasts, across all ocean sectors, toward a single goal: to get more Canadians working on and in the water.”

Developing the strategy will be a major undertaking of multiple ministries, including transport, economic development, science and industry, Crown-Indigenous relations and international trade, among others.

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, but ocean-based sectors currently account for just 1.6 per cent, or $31 billion, of the national GDP. By comparison Jordan points to Norway which uses its coastline for 33 per cent of its GDP.

READ MORE: Build a better blue economy through responsible aquaculture

“There is so much more we can harness to drive our economy. It’s something we need to look at seriously. How do we best do that?”

Topics leading Jordan’s public engagement will include products and technologies to foster a sustainable commercial fishing industry, offshore renewable energy, transportation, sustainable tourism, international trade and new green technologies in ocean-related fields.

“This can’t be a made-in-Ottawa, behind-closed-doors strategy. It has to come from the communities that are impacted directly. It has to come from industry. It has to come from Indigenous communities and it has to come from our environmental organizations.”

READ MORE: New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Cumberland council is backing the business association again. File photo
Cumberland backs homeless veteran count

Briefs: Council continues support for business association

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Courtenay man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Cole Moore’s sister sets up GoFundMe to help father looking after brother

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read