Our Vision:

Canada is an Ocean Nation

Written by a collaboration of Canada’s leading ocean scientists, Indigenous leaders, artists and communicators Beyond 2020: Open Letter on Ocean Priorities for the Canadian Government outlines 5 areas of focus and actions they hope to see taken to reach their vision.

We outline 5 areas of focus and provide specific examples of concrete actions we hope to see taken by diverse interests, including government:

In December 2017, over 30 of Canada’s most respected, passionate and informed marine communicators, scientists, Indigenous representatives, artists and storytellers came together at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto for an event called Canada’s Oceans: Towards 2020. The event was public facing and included over 600 people. After the two-day public event the 30+ leaders, including representatives from Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, met privately to craft a vision for Canada’s oceans with the goal of confirming Canada’s identity as an ocean nation. The signatories of this Open Letter recognize and applaud the Canadian Government for their leadership and progress thus far on our ocean protection commitments, including recent announcements and revisions to the Fisheries Act. There is still more work to do, and it is our goal with this Letter to prioritize and contextualize next steps.

The public mandates of Canada’s Ministers have offered Canadians and Indigenous peoples an opportunity to hold government accountable and to engage collaboratively in ensuring mandates are met. For our ocean, this has meant a reinvestment in science, commitment to international protection targets and incorporation of climate change into stock assessments and ongoing efforts to modernize Canada’s legal framework for managing our fisheries and oceans.

Charting a course for an increased and consistent focus on our ocean will ensure that reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and a commitment to sustainable oceans are interlinked priorities. While Canada has returned to the global stage on a number of important issues, it is increasingly important that we ensure that our efforts at home reflect our ambitions for the rest of the world.

Continued and increased support of Indigenous leadership on oceans
(Read More…)

Convening of an Indigenous Oceans Conference that provides space for indigenous peoples to move forward with an oceans agenda and for non-Indigenous participants to listen and learn.

Establish networks of conserved and strongly protected areas
(Read More…)

By 2020, networks of conserved and protected areas should be determined for all three oceans, with implementation of these networks achieved by 2030.

Building on its past record of international oceans leadership, Canada should take a championship role in upcoming negotiations on a new international treaty to protect high seas biodiversity which once in place would help ensure connectivity and compatibility with marine protection measures within our national waters.

Commit to rebuilding and sustaining our fisheries
(Read More…)

Community engagement on these issues on all three coasts is imperative so that economic development desires are tempered with ecological reality.

Canada establish a plan to report on progress towards meeting indicators and overall goals of Aichi Target 6.

Canada develops and implements an Ecosystem-Based approach to fisheries.

Take action on reducing plastic pollution
(Read More…)

Canada needs to develop a National Plastics Framework and take a leadership role on international efforts to set targets for reduction of plastic use and related emissions.

The government of Canada and its provinces and territories as well as Indigenous communities need to make progress on the 2009 commitment by Council of Canadian Ministers of Environment to implement Extended Producer Responsibility to reduce plastic pollution and divert plastic from the waste stream.

Communication, Outreach & Advocacy – ocean literacy
(Read More…)

Collaborate across government, Indigenous, private and non-profit sectors to develop outreach projects, programs, and funding streams that leverage Canadian talent to help position Canada as an ocean nation.

Adopt shared messaging and principles for ocean literacy, and support the emerging National Ocean Literacy Coalition, and their associated draft ocean literacy plan.

Ensure ocean literacy and conservation priorities are included in all K-12 curriculum systems in all provinces, territories, and Indigenous communities.

We see these 5 areas of focus and associated examples of concrete actions as a logical, needed, and appropriate next step toward propelling Canada into an international leadership role on ocean protection. We are prepared to assist the Government in realizing this ambition and look forward to your response.

Organizational Signatories

Individual Signatories

Dave Ireland,
Chair, Canada’s Oceans: Towards 2020,
Ecology Action Centre

Dr. Susanna D. Fuller
Co-Chair, Canada’s Oceans: Towards 2020,
Oceans North

Dr. Chelsea Rochman,
Assistant Professor,
University of Toronto

Dr. Brett Favaro,
Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University

Dr. Boris Worm,
Killam Research Professor in Marine Conservation Biology,
Dalhousie University

Mandy-Rae Krack,
7-time World Freediving Champion

Mike Bromley,
Filmmaker & Surfer

Josie Osborne,
Mayor of Tofino

Dr. Robert Rangeley,
Science Director,
Oceana Canada

Cristina Mittermeier,
Conservation Photographer,
Sea Legacy

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124 signatures

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Public Signatories
124 Joseph Homsy Tofino
123 Debbi Kill North Vancouver
122 christian gould Newmarket, Ontario
121 Natasha Hirt Toronto
120 Caroline Bélanger-Hilaire Ottawa
119 Em Miraglia Toronto
118 Alexandra Farkas Toronto
117 Dwayne MacLeod Wolfville
116 Carly Saba Vancouver
115 xi ya dai toronto
114 Anne Stewart Bamfield (not a city)
113 Natalie Probstein Toronto
112 Diane Pinto Toronto
111 Laura Bombier Toronto
110 Michelle Mackey Toronto
109 Julie Matthews NEWMARKET
108 Megan Curren North Vancouver
107 Glenn Archibald North vancouver
106 Esther Schwarz Halifax
105 Kelby Holmes Ucluelet
104 Maura Salas Toronto
103 Courtney Mccallum Owen Sound
102 Jamie Gallupe Owen Sound
101 Doug Bromley Cow Bay, Nova Scotia
100 David Oxner St Catharines
99 Shanon Little Toronto
98 Molly Furness Waterloo Ontario
97 John Hanlin Dartmouth
96 Giulia Sala Middle Sackville
95 Alison Gladwell Halifax
94 Rodala Aranya Saskatoon
93 Ann Mott Halifax
92 Jessica LeBlanc Moncton
91 Jessica Muench Halifax
90 Brianna Maxwell Halifax
89 Isabell Choi Waterloo
88 Christopher Corey Halifax
87 Eric Hanlin Dartmouth NS
86 Jonna Grace Gladwell Flesherton, Ontario
85 Nureileen Kamaruizam Shah Alam, MY
84 Jennifer Murchie Toronto
83 Kelly Hurley Calgary
82 Crystal Chan Richmond
81 Lynda Bromley Maple Ridge
80 Jens Gemmrich Niagara on the Lake
79 Pamela Speight Victoria
78 Keanna Burns Halifax
77 Marc Winer Toronto
76 Rachel Cherry Halifax
75 Sarah Lim Maple ridge
74 Crystal Reeves Vancouver
73 Laura Verhegge Sooke
72 Malak Bayoumi North York
71 Hannah Miller Burlington
70 Stuart Anderson Waterloo
69 Joseph Salter Hamilton
68 Michaela Norgren Ottawa
67 Nick Laferriere Toronto
66 Bianca Perren Creemore
65 Marina Melanidis Richmond
64 Elaine Sullivan St. John's, NL, Canada
63 Susan Kerr Victoria
62 Tiffany Moore Victoria
61 Catherine Tremblay Fredericton
60 Alicia Yee Pickering
59 Alan Reed-Osborne Waterdown
58 Rourke Wunder-Buhr Saskatoon
57 Gary Bowen Montreal/Longueuil
56 Therese Baron Toronto
55 Adil Darvesh Whitehorse
54 Caroline Merner Vancouver
53 Emma Arsenault Ottawa
52 Derek Armitage Waterloo
51 Erin Deschamps Toronto
50 Eiblin Koch Toronto
49 Malae Blakeley NORTH VANCOUVER
48 Maryann Watson Victoria, BC
47 Colleen Walsh-Bouman Windsor NS
46 Olivia Gowan Tofino
45 Mary Paquet Ottawa
44 Mya Van Woudenberg Toronto
43 Julie Reimer St. John’s
42 Susan Berry Toronto
41 Adam Toldo Windsor
40 Lindsay Blashill Waterloo
39 Michel Bonnette Quebec
38 roger sheppard NORTH VANCOUVER
37 Luke Krayenhoff Victoria BC
36 Kate Moran Victoria, BC
35 Jeanine Osborne Burlington
34 Vincent Luk Toronto
33 Michael Forsman Burnaby
32 Lorie Pierce Quebec City
31 Eric Rehm Québec
30 Daniel Tennier Lindsay
29 Natasha Hirt Toronto
28 Rebecca McGarvie Mississauga
27 Angela Gibson Toronto
26 Mary-Anne Davies Vancouver
25 Philina Chan Toronto
24 Katrina Stobbart North Vancouver
23 Nicolas Villeneuve Saint-Hippolyte
22 phyllis wedge parksville
21 AMAmy AmyStasiuk A
20 Grant Gaspari Toronto
19 Ocean Shine Tofino
18 sally sheppard NORTH VANCOUVER
17 Sam Casey Toronto
16 Sarah Zammit Québec
15 Claire Watts Toronto
14 Henriette Maier West LaHave
13 Rodolphe Devillers Torbay
12 Nicola Wood Lethbridge
11 Nicole Mastrangelo Clarington
10 Neil Osborne Toronto
9 Connor Paone Tofino
8 Cristina Mittermeier Nanoose Bay, BC
7 Lilly Woodbury Tofino
6 Michelle Hall Tofino
5 Chantal Kerr Ucluelet
4 Jason Sam Ucluelet
3 Mark Peck Toronto
2 David Ireland Dartmouth
1 Hannah Reichert Toronto