Canada launches new round of public feedback on proposed Aquaculture Act
By Mari-Len De Guzman
The Government of Canada has launched a new round of public consultation on the proposed and first-ever Aquaculture Act in Canada.
A discussion paper providing background on aquaculture in Canada, rationale for the proposed legislation and an overview of the elements proposed for the new Act, has been made available online with key questions to guide feedback to the government on this important initiative, a statement from Fisheries and Oceans Canada said.
The proposed Aquaculture Act has been developed to provide “more clarity and certainty as this industry continues to develop across Canada, while respecting federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions.”
“This Act will provide more certainty, improve the regulatory regime across the country, and will help position Canada as a global leader in sustainable, high-quality, aquaculture products,” said Bernadette Jordan, minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “I look forward to hearing from Canadians, provincial and territorial partners, Indigenous peoples, industry, and key stakeholders, as we chart this new path forward together.”
The public will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed legislation until January 15, 2021.
The 2016 Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans report, An Ocean of Opportunities: Aquaculture in Canada, called for a unified legislative framework to make the aquaculture industry in the country more competitive. As a result, the federal government committed to exploring opportunities to develop federal aquaculture legislation.
Between 2017 and 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has led two rounds of public engagement on the proposed act. Results of those consultations are outlined in the government’s “What We Heard” report posted on its website.
“An Aquaculture Act will provide a nationally consistent and adaptable legislative framework, while also taking into account regional differences. Our goal is to develop an Act that will provide more clarity and certainty as this industry develops across Canada, while ensuring strong sustainability and environmental protections. An important step in developing this legislation is engaging with our Indigenous partners, stakeholders and Canadians to hear their views,” Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said.