An orca hunts salmon in east Pacific waters. The federal government has launched public consultations to inform direction on a new Blue Economy Strategy. (Photo supplied by Center for Whale Research)

An orca hunts salmon in east Pacific waters. The federal government has launched public consultations to inform direction on a new Blue Economy Strategy. (Photo supplied by Center for Whale Research)

British Columbians asked for input on Blue Economy

Public engagement portal will help inform government on strategy for new ocean economy

What does the ocean mean to you, your community, or your industry? How do you envision the best economic opportunities while restoring and maintaining its sustainability?

These are but a couple of the nebulous questions at the heart of the federal government’s outreach to British Columbians, and Canadians on every coast, in its pursuit of the new Blue Economy Strategy.

The strategy is intended 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.

Earlier this month the minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan, launched public engagements through a series of roundtables with key ocean-sector stakeholders.

Today (Feb. 23) the minister announced the opening of an online engagement portal for the general public to also share their thoughts and perspectives.

READ MORE: Blue Economy Strategy sessions kick off with roundtable marathon

“A healthy ocean has more to give – it can feed more mouths, employ more people and create more opportunities for the entire country,” Jordan said. “Canada needs a Blue Economy Strategy that will harness the power and potential of our oceans to create a future that is more sustainable, more prosperous and more inclusive. The best way to ensure people are at the heart of the plan, is to have Canadians share their ideas so we can work towards this brighter future together.”

Canadian ocean-based sectors currently account for about 300,000 jobs and just $31.7 billion, 1.6 per cent, of the country’s GDP.

The government is leaning on the strategy to help drive economic recovery in a post-pandemic world, integrating growth with ocean conservation and climate action.

Greater participation of Indigenous peoples, women and under-represent groups are strongly encouraged to participate in the online process. The feedback will inform government on the needs of communities that stand to grow an benefit from ocean investments and new policy.

Topics so far leading the public engagement 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.

READ MORE: Ottawa eyes B.C. coastline for new economic vision

The strategy is a massive undertaking involving several federal departments, including Transport Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Global Affairs Canada, regional development agencies, and others.

The online engagement portal is open until June 15.

Fisheries and Oceans CanadaOcean Protection

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

Just Posted

Letters to the Editor.
Gratitude to those who did snow removal

Sidewalks and driveways for the elderly kept clear

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
Fight bullying every day

Pink Shirt Day happening on Feb. 24

Nick McMaster working on a painting at Cinder and Sea. (Photo by Cole Schisler)
McMaster combines his passions for tattoos and art at Cinder and Sea

Tattoo and fine art studio located on Willow Street in Chemainus

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Trials and tribulations of a child’s cancer diagnosis heart-wrenching for Donovan family

Young Ella’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Neurologist and medical educator Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava, seen here speaking at the 2020 Breakfast to Remember in Victoria, will delve into the latest in dementia research during an interactive research event exclusively for attendees of this year’s virtual Breakfast. Access to the March 10 research event is included with the purchase of a Breakfast to Remember ticket. (Kevin Light Photography)
Blast off with Chris Hadfield at Alzheimer Society’s Breakfast to Remember in March

The Society hopes people in all corners of the province will make the most of this opportunity

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

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

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read