Representatives from across the Canadian recreational boating industry gathered in Ottawa in early May to meet with parliamentarians in the fourth annual Canadian Recreational Boating Industry Day on the Hill.
Industry delegates from across Canada attended a number of face-to-face meetings with senior bureaucrats and newly elected MPs in order to advocate on behalf of the Canadian boating industry. Representing more than 4,400 companies and 67,000 jobs, the delegation engaged policy makers on wide variety of issues important to Canada's recreational boating sector, including access to water, reducing trade barriers, investment in infrastructure and support for tourism marketing efforts.
"The Canadian Recreational Boating Industry Day on the Hill provides a unique opportunity to directly educate policy makers on the significant socio-economic impact of recreational boating,' said Sara Anghel, NMMA Canada executive director/vice president government relations. "The GDP impact of recreational boating is $5 billion and represents more than $8.9 billion in total revenues. Its economic impact is significant.'
NMMA Canada chair Tom Mac Nair said the delegation aims to clear the misconception that boating remains the realm of the wealthy. "With a new government in place in Ottawa we feel it is important to emphasize that boating is an activity shared by many Canadians, and particularly those from 31 to 49 years of age' said Mac Nair. "More than 43 percent of Canadians went boating in the last year, and nearly 60 percent of Canadian boat owners have household incomes of between $44,000 and $99,000 a year. Boating is a family activity, with growing participation.'
With nearly 200 rookie MPs elected in the October 2015 federal election, this year's Day on the Hill represents a particularly significant opportunity to forge critical relationships with new parliamentarians, committee chairs, parliamentary secretaries, regional caucus chairs and opposition critics. The newly elected Liberal government has committed to more than $125 billion over the next 10 years to infrastructure spending, along with significant funding in support of the Canada 150 anniversary initiative in 2017. The hope is that some of this funding will be applied to boating-related projects.
NMMA Canada once again collaborated with Global Public Affairs to organize the Day on the Hill advocacy effort. Industry participants included representatives from NMMA Canada, the Atlantic Marine Trade Association, the Association Maritime du Quebec, Boating Ontario, Boating BC, the Mid-Canada Marine and Powersports Dealers Association, Honda Canada, Princecraft Boats, Scepter Canada, Dock Edge +, BRP, Brunswick Corporation, BoatSmart! Canada, Yamaha Motor Canada, Sidewind Marine, Legend Boats, Smoker Craft Inc., Volvo Penta Canada, and Wells Fargo.