Today, members of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada are meeting directly with Canadian MPs on Parliament Hill in Ottawa at the industry's first-ever Recreational Boating Day on the Hill.
NMMA Canada's board of directors and several of its members were organized into small groups who are currently holding meetings with more than a dozen MPs from ridings across Canada, members of Transport Canada and other policy makers.
"Whether it's that the Canadian recreational boat manufacturing industry represents approximately $322 million in exports or that, contrary to the belief that boating is a hobby for the rich, just over 50 percent of Canadian boaters' average household income totals less than $80,000 – our industry has an important story to tell,' notes Sara Anghel, Executive Director of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). "Sharing our story on Parliament Hill this week represents a critical element of our industry's advocacy efforts and will go a long way towards building an accurate understanding of the Canadians who make up recreational boating and the positive economic impact which these boating enthusiasts have across the country.'
The objective of the meetings is to strengthen the ties between NMMA Canada's members and government policy makers with the hope of improving future cooperation and lobbying efforts.
"The overall Canadian boat manufacturing industry's value totals approximately $1.7 billion, and we want to ensure that number can continue to grow,' said Donald Dubois, Chairman of NMMA Canada and President of Princecraft Boats. "We want to collaborate with key federal decision-makers to ensure that there are no impairing trade barriers for Canadian recreational boat manufacturers to export our best-in-class product to other countries.'
NMMA Canada collaborated with Global Public Affairs, a Canadian government relations and lobbying organization, to organize the inaugural event that provides a platform to meet with a range of elected and government officials, engaged on policy issues of importance and relevance to Canada's recreational boating sector. The event provides the industry an opportunity to communicate with Parliamentarians on key issues impacting the sector and to detail the industry's approximated $15.6 billion economic impact on the Canadian economy.
Industry participants in attendance include boat, engine and marine accessory manufacturers, boat dealers and marine trade associations who can advocate on behalf of the industry's more than 100,000 Canadian marine industry workers and Canada's 10 million recreational boaters.
NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the US and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle.
Once the meetings are concluded later today, a reception is planned for all Parliamentarians and their staff at Parliament Hill's Centre Block building.