Calls for Ontario government to get moving on marine strategy for the province

great lakes

There's a call from some mayors across Ontario for the government to create a Marine Strategy.

St. Catharines Mayor and Chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Walter Sendzik, was joined by Port Colborne Mayor Bill Steele, Tiny Township Mayor George Cornell, and marine industry representatives to make the request today.

The group, which represents more than 150 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River mayors, wants to see the Ontario government develop a strategic, well-funded vision for the maritime industry in the province. 

“A provincial marine strategy, including modernization of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway network, will offer a tremendous amount of opportunities for Ontario’s blue economy, including creating good jobs, attracting new employers and reducing congestion on our roads across our province,” said Mayor Sendzik. “Marine transportation is the most environmentally friendly way to transport vital goods and the province can demonstrate their commitment to reducing emissions by supporting the maritime industry. Developing an Ontario Marine Strategy will also help maximize future access to the Welland Canal, identify opportunities to grow the marine sector across Ontario and help make the industry more competitive against other provinces who already support this essential sector.”

“This is more than just a transportation initiative. A strategy focused on supporting our maritime industry is relevant for international trade and community economic development, but it also has important ties to tourism and recreation as well as natural resources and the environment,” said Mayor Bill Steele, City of Port Colborne.

The provincial government made a commitment to develop an Ontario Marine Strategy as part of its transportation plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe released in March 2022. 

The group says it is pleased that the Ministry of Transportation has started to consult with industry stakeholders, and looks forward to working with municipal and industry stakeholders, as well as the province to ensure that Ontario’s Marine strategy can be completed and funded this year.