Advisory Committee

Members of the Advisory Committee
  • Chief Terry Paul, Membertou First Nation.
  • Mark Butler, Ecology Action Centre. The EAC, founded in 1971 and with over 2600 members, works on a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues of concern to Nova Scotians. The EAC is active in seven areas including fisheries and coastal protection and is constantly seeking solutions which have ecological and economic value for the province and its citizens.
  • Karen Traversy, Coastal Coalition of Nova Scotia. The Coastal Coalition of Nova Scotia is a coalition of NGOs which has pressed for a provincial coastal management policy.
  • Lisa Fitzgerald, Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council. The Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council is dedicated to planning and implementing human resource development strategies to attract new entrants to aquaculture, fish harvesting and processing careers, and promoting competitiveness and higher quality standards for seafood products.
  • Carl Purcell, Nova Scotia Salmon Association. The Nova Scotia Salmon Association is a volunteer organization focused on the main objectives of the conservation and protection of wild Atlantic salmon and the environment in which it lives. There are 23 affiliate river groups within the umbrella of the association representing over 300 salmon anglers throughout the province.
  • Brian Blanchard, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia. The Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia (AANS) represents the interests of approximately 60 member companies and individuals, including marine- and land- based finish and shellfish farmers, fish processors, hatchery & nursery owner-operators, and a range of industry suppliers and researchers.
  • Roderick Murphy, Jr., Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) is a not-for-profit organization mandated to represent the Provincial interests of municipal governments across Nova Scotia. Total membership is 407 elected officials representing all 54 municipalities.

The Role of the Advisory Committee

While the role of the Advisory Committee is set out in general terms the Terms of Reference of the Panel, this clarifies the role of the Advisory Committee in greater detail.

In general, the Role of the Advisory Committee is to provide advice to the Panel as the Panel carries out its mandate. The Panel’s mandate encompasses all forms of aquaculture, both those currently carried out and others that are reasonably foreseeable. It has three interrelated components:
  • Development of a process for carrying out the work of the Panel that is independent, transparent, consultative, collaborative, analytically rigorous and evidence-based;
  • Preparation of one or more reports containing recommendations and the supporting analysis for a state-of-the-art regulatory framework that will integrate environmental protection, social well-being and economic opportunity in Nova Scotia; and
  • Working with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to develop the legislative, regulatory and policy instruments needed for effective implementation of the Panel’s recommendations.
In carrying out this mandate, the Panel is required to consider the full range of social, economic and environmental impacts, benefits, risks and uncertainties associated with all aspects of the aquaculture industry.
The design and management of the process to be followed by the Panel is within the mandate of the Panel. The Panel is however required to promote and facilitate public participation in accordance with proven approaches to public and stakeholder engagement in deliberative processes. In particular, the Panel is required to ensure that the process encompasses the concerns and traditional knowledge of Aboriginal persons or groups and the concerns and community knowledge of the broader public.
In designing the process, the Panel is also required to “seek advice from the group of individuals representing key stakeholders assembled by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to provide advice to the Panel, as well as from any others that the Panel may determine can provide advice on the design of the process”.
In this context, the role of the Advisory Committee is to provide advice to the Panel on the design and implementation of the process the panel will use in discharging its mandate. The Advisory Committee is also well-positioned to provide assistance to the Panel in identifying and understanding the issues that must be considered in the process if it is to produce recommendations that are in the “best long-term environmental, social and economic interests of the province”. The role of the Advisory Committee is not however to take the place of the broader process of consultations and stakeholder engagement that the Panel is charged with designing and implementing.
Functions of the Advisory Committee
In light of the above description of the role of the Advisory Committee, the specific functions of the Advisory Committee will be to:
  • Offer advice on the overall design and the specific elements of the process to be used by the Panel to achieve its mandate;
  • Offer advice on the implementation of the process to be followed by the Panel;
  • Provide feedback to the Panel throughout the implementation of the process, and offer advice on adjustments to the process as issues arise;
  • Assist the Panel in identifying issues relevant to its mandate and the available options for researching, understanding and analyzing the issues;
  • Provide advice on the operation of the Advisory Committee; and 
  • Participate in the broader process of consultations, including public meetings and in round table discussions, as much as possible.

Advisory Committee Process

The Advisory Committee will meet as required but is expected to meet at least monthly throughout the process. The Committee will be chaired by the members of the Panel. The Panel will be responsible for developing and sending agendas and supporting materials to Committee members at least four clear days before each meeting (we will aim for one week). Committee members can also place matters on the agenda at any time. Where action items arise from Committee discussions, they will be documented in meeting notes. The documentation of agreed upon action items will be the primary role of meeting notes.  

The Committee will strive to operate by consensus subject to the ultimate decision making responsibility of the Panel. Each member of the Committee will have the opportunity to request that the meeting notes reflect their disagreement with a proposed action. Communications about deliberations of the Advisory Committee will be the responsibility of the Panel, subject to the role and responsibility of the members of the Advisory Committee in seeking input and feedback from stakeholders. Should a member of the Committee decide to speak publicly about the work of the Committee or on a specific issue that has come before the Committee, they will advise the other members of the Committee and the Panel in advance of doing so. Members of the Advisory Committee are encouraged to keep the broader community interested in the work of the Panel informed about the process and to encourage their active and constructive participation through the various means available. The Committee will be provided secretariat support by Dr. Vimy Glass of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. This will be part of her role in providing administrative, logistical and technical support to the Panel.