May 1, 2018

Day On The Hill 2018From the left, Roy Baird Jr., Andy Adams, J.F. Rioux, Marc Duhamel, Alexandre Borduas, Sara Anghel, Peter Hart, Rick Layzell, Jean-Phillipe Martin-Dubois, Bill Connor, Chris Perera, Gordon Brittle, Ab Ghaznavi gathered for this group shot at the end of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 


From the left - Jean-Francois Rioux, Karen McCrimmon, Sara Anghel, Marc Duhamel and Andy Adams.Day On The Hill

NMMA Canada's sixth annual Recreational Boating Day On The Hill on April 24, 2018 included almost 20 Canadian marine industry leaders with the NMMA Canada Board of Directors, marine trade association heads and me, Andy Adams from Boating Industry Canada as the media reporter. The NMMA and Global Public Affairs again worked very hard to set up meetings to achieve the best-ever agenda with 37 scheduled meetings during the day.

Many of the meetings were with actual Members of Parliament as well as departmental staff chairs of relevant House of Commons standing committees, parliamentary secretaries to ministers and even one meeting with the privy Council office, the office that directly supports and advises the Prime Minister's office.

Each meeting is tightly scheduled and controlled so it's essential that we follow the lead set out by Sara Angel and the NMMA, to focus discussions down to a limited number of the most important topics including details on next steps for the abandoned vessels legislation (namely boat recycling options), the danger of introducing E15 fuel at the pumps in Canada, opportunities for more trade missions for Canadian manufacturers, and how the federal government can help expand boating access across Canada. As always, we made several new contacts to support our important work and gained a number of inspiring takeaways.

An excellent infographic was created as a simple and speedy source of key research about the boating industry to leave with the people we met.

We were arranged into small groups, mainly meeting in the personal offices of the various ministers and typically getting 20 to 30 minutes. Of the 37 meetings we were successful in setting up, I attended six.

I started my day with conservative MP Kelly Block, [Carlton Trail - Eagle Creek] Saskatchewan who is the Vice Chair of the Standing Committee On Transport Infrastructure And Communities. Our presentation went well and we were pleased to see that Minister Block’s family operates a hunting and fishing camp in northern Saskatchewan, so she was very familiar with boating.

I then met with Liberal MP Alania Lockhart [Fundy Royal - New Brunswick] the Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism and again we enjoyed a warm reception from an MP who recognized the importance of boating to her portfolio.

My third meeting was with Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon [Kanata - Carlton] who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau. Once again we received a warm welcome from a person who turned out to be a boat owner herself and to seem to grasp the importance and value of our messages.

Right after that we met with Liberal MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, [West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country] who's the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade. Issues like obtaining funding to help us develop marine industry export markets, access to markets and of course NAFTA, were important to her and once again, we had the good fortune of meeting with a boat owner and somebody who's familiar with cruising on the West Coast.

From there I headed out to a meeting with Liberal MP Bernadette Jordan [South Shore St. Margaret's in Nova Scotia] who is very involved with the abandoned vessels issue and also knows Pat Nelder of the Atlantic Marine Trades Association. Pat keeps her informed on key issues to our marine industry.

My last session for the day was with Conservative MP Larry Miller from Grey – Bruce Owen - Sound who remembered the NMMA delegation from the previous year, clearly understands the importance of recreational boating in his riding and who is personally an avid outdoorsman and boat owner.

Other groups saw equally important and influential members of Parliament and senior staff.

It's a grueling day of meetings, security clearances and formality but everywhere we went, Canada's marine industry was warmly received and our messages seemed to click with the dignitaries we saw. I am certainly proud to be a part of this very worthwhile event.

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