First All-Party Oceans Caucus Meeting to Take Place Today in Ottawa

OTTAWA - Today, the newly formed All-Party Oceans Caucus will hold its inaugural meeting. The Oceans Caucus will bring together MPs to discuss the full breadth of the ocean’s economic and environmental importance to Canada, according to co-chairs Fin Donnelly, MP (New Westminster-Coquitlam) and Bruce Stanton, MP (Simcoe-North).

“The Oceans caucus will provide a forum for discussing how Canada can grow its coastal and ocean economy while protecting its marine ecosystem,” said Donnelly. “With the longest coastline in the world, Canada is well-positioned to become a world leader in marine conservation and technology.”

The Oceans Caucus will be an explicitly non-partisan, respectful and cooperative forum allowing for a comprehensive discussion of ocean issues affecting our coastal communities. Along with Stanton and Donnelly, other founding members include Francis Scarpaleggia, MP (Lac-St-Louis) and Elizabeth May, MP (Saanich-Gulf Islands).

“There is a tremendous opportunity in our oceans today to grow our coastal economy and to balance that growth with the needs of the ecosystem to develop a sustainable path forward,” said Stanton. “This caucus will provide a way for elected representatives to discuss these important issues in a thoughtful way.”

At the first meeting, the All-Party Oceans Caucus will be joined by guest speaker Dr. Doug Wallace from Dalhousie University. Dr. Wallace is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and a world leader in developing new technologies to measure changes to the world's oceans.

“An increase of blue jobs and the competitiveness of the blue economy are directly linked to the health of our oceans,” said Andrew Dumbrille, Manager of National Ocean Governance at WWF- Canada. “Whether it is tourism and whale watching which depend on an abundance of diverse ocean life, or aquaculture which depends on a balanced ocean ecology, or healthy fish stocks that need protected areas for biomass recovery, the economy and environment cannot be separated. It’s encouraging to know that the vision of the caucus is to bring them together.”