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Government Relations Update

November 15, 2018

This article written by Jessica McCormick, Assistant to the President, was originally published in the Winter 2018-19 edition of the Union Forum magazine

In November, FFAW marked World Fisheries Day with robust lobbying efforts on Parliament Hill to draw attention to the importance of passing amendments to Canada’s Fisheries Act that protect and promote the independence of inshore owner operators. Additionally, FFAW used this opportunity to advocate for increased fish harvester input and engagement in fisheries science, and highlighted the importance of incorporating the socio-economic concerns of coastal communities in fisheries management. On November 21st and 22nd, FFAW President Keith Sullivan and staffperson Jessica McCormick met with several Members of Parliament, Senators, and government policy advisors to represent the concerns of FFAW members.

Meetings were held with representatives of the Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic Party including fisheries committee members Churence Rogers (MP for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity), Ken McDonald (MP for Avalon), Todd Doherty (MP for Cariboo-Prince George) and Fin Donnelly (MP for Port Moody-Coquitlam), and Newfoundland and Labrador Senators Fabian Manning, David Wells, Norm Doyle and Mohamed Iqbal-Ravalia. Meetings were also held with Department of Fisheries and Oceans policy advisors, staff to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and advisors to the Prime Minister.

On Wednesday evening, FFAW representatives joined members of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation for an event to mark World Fisheries Day on Parliament Hill. The event was attended by a number of MPs and Senators from across the country, including Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson.

In the weeks remaining before the House of Commons and the Senate adjourn for the winter break, FFAW will continue to push for amendments to the fisheries act to move swiftly through the Senate. The new year provides an opportunity for increased advocacy at the federal and provincial level, with elections right around the corner. Winter and Spring 2019 is a critical time for your Union to ensure the issues that matter most to our members are reflected in the platforms of political parties leading into elections.