Executive Director of Marine Renewables Canada sends strong message to Senate committee regarding Bill C-49










June 19th, 2024  (Halifax, NS) – Elisa Obermann, Executive Director of Marine Renewables Canada (MRC) appeared before the Standing Committee for Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on June 18th, and sent a strong message to Ottawa regarding Bill C-49 and amendments to the Accord Acts: the regulatory and investment certainty created by the amended Accord Acts is essential to offshore wind development, and it is needed now.

Obermann provided insight on the importance of Bill C-49 with respect to advancing the offshore wind industry in Canada, representing MRC and its 180+ members, many of which have an interest and a depth of experience in offshore wind and Canada’s ocean industries.

“Developing Canada’s offshore wind resources is an opportunity that we cannot let pass us by,” she stated. “It is an opportunity to produce clean electricity that can help decarbonize our grid and play a major role in producing green hydrogen for local and export use. It also holds tremendous potential to create local jobs, grow the economy, and establish an industry that will yield benefits for generations to come.”

While Obermann is urging swift passage of the amendments, she noted the importance of the responsible development of offshore wind, maintaining the integrity of marine ecosystems and with respect for the inherent, legal and treaty rights of Indigenous communities. That same respect must be extended to local residents, and other ocean users.

MRC and its members are deeply committed to responsible development of the sector. Before the government announced the intention to amend the Accord Acts in April 2022, MRC began to foster an early two-way dialogue with fisheries, communities, suppliers, environmental organizations, and Indigenous groups to understand concerns, share information about offshore wind, and find areas of cooperation and collaboration. MRC plans to continue fostering a collaborative dialogue with these groups, and extend engagement to other jurisdictions.

Canada is at the very early stages of establishing an offshore wind industry. The amended Accord Acts are an important first step, laying the foundation for much more work ahead to build a responsible, sustainable, and inclusive offshore wind industry. Bill C-49 is a fundamental and critical piece of legislation that would allow Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia’s offshore wind resources to be developed in a timely manner.

“Time is of the essence. A regulatory framework is critical to give certainty and confidence to investors. They will go to countries that have a clear regulatory path. Canada is already competing against many other jurisdictions that have mature regulatory frameworks for offshore wind in place,” Obermann stated during her closing remarks. “The 18 countries that currently produce offshore wind power are set to be joined by another 17 by 2030. We need to ensure that Canada is one of them.”



Media contact:
Catherine Warren
Director, Communications & Engagement|
(709) 771-1186