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

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Alberni Valley’s Emergency Operations Centre is located around the corner and below the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District office. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District tests new mobile alert system

Residents can still sign up for free Voyent Alert! emergency messaging

Crews respond to a structure fire in the 6000 block of Renton Road in Cherry Creek on Saturday, Feb. 27. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Workshop destroyed in Cherry Creek fire

Crews stayed on scene overnight fighting ‘stubborn’ blaze

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Tax error in 2020 means lower rate for residents in 2021

Alberni’s taxation for regional library accidently written down twice

Part of a new housing development proposal for the former Alberni District Secondary School site. (SCREENSHOT)
Housing gap widens in Port Alberni

Vancouver Island city suffers from ‘missing middle’ to housing density

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
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

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read