Saturday, November 14, 2015

Cleary's years in Ottawa

Ryan Cleary spent more than four years in Ottawa as Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, serving for all or part of that time as Chair of the Atlantic Caucus, Official Critic for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Official Critic for Post-Secondary Education. In addition, Ryan served on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, and Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Over his term in office (2011-2015), Ryan rose more often during Question Period on NL-related issues than any other MP from the province. 


• Federal fisheries mismanagement.
• Northern shrimp and Last-in, First-out policy.
• Oil-spill response times.
• Pensions and seniors.
• Veterans.
• Post-Secondary Education and student debt
• The Canada EU free-trade deal and follow through on compensation for NL’s relinquishing of Minimum Processing Requirements. 
• Harper government accountability
• The Seal Harvest


• Extension of 2014 food fishery.
• Championed local fisheries issues and helped preserve fishing industry’s owner-operator, fleet-separation policy.
• Support local veterans by securing funding for Mount Pearl Cenotaph.
• Fort Amherst and Cape Spear Heritage Status.
• Formation of Narrows Group to enhance, protect, and preserve the historic entrance to St. John’s Harbour, as well as organization of annual Grand Punt Race, Townies vs. Baymen.
• Study by Fisheries and Oceans Committee of CETA impact on NL fisheries.
• Successful completion of hundreds of constituency casework files.
• Worked with activist Gemma Hickey on a Private Members' Bill to establish a National Day of Awareness for survivors of institutional abuse.
• Brought high-speed internet to Middle Pond.
• Responded to local needs and successfully altered federal regulations for notification on under 15 meter cell towers across Canada.


• Participation in Canada Post filibuster in the House of Commons.
• Maiden speech in the Commons focused on NL’s official flower, the pitcher plant. The speech also got a review from the National Post.
• First Question in the House of Commons on Search and Rescue.
• First call for the Harper government to reverse decisions on closing Marine Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John’s.
• First speech in the House of fisheries mismanagement.
• First Private Members’ Bill — Bill C-308 — to create a rebuilding plan for the NL fishery. (The bill was eventually defeated in a Commons vote; all Opposition parties voted for the bill, while the majority Harper government voted it down.) 
• Loss of seal markets in countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and the European Union.
• Conservative Minister Peter McKay’s use of one of the military’s Gander-based Cormorant search and rescue helicopters as a personal taxi
• Defence of DFO from massive Harper government cuts.
• Cleary barred from touring 9 Wing Gander air base (home of the military’s Cormorant helicopters) by Conservative Minister Peter McKay.


• The death of 14-year-old Burton Winters of Makkovik and Search and Rescue response. One of Ryan’s speeches in the Commons on the Winter’s tragedy was included in an investigative piece by the CBC’s Fifth Estate. 
• Speeches in the Commons against first Conservative austerity budget. 
• Post-Secondary education work: Questions in the Commons on tuition fees; organization of • National Roundtable on Post-Secondary Education. 
• Spoke out against increasing age of eligibility for OAS and GIS to 67 from 65.
• Nine-month strike at St. John’s International Airport, and Ryan’s decision to support the picket line by flying in and out of Gander, a three-hour drive. 
• Head-on collision with a moose in Terra Nova National Park.
• Spoke out against then-Labrador MP Peter Penashue’s inappropriate election spending.
• Spoke out against St. John’s harbour fence.
• Co-ordinated Making Waves public meeting on future of NL’s fishing industry (20th anniversary of northern cod moratorium). 
• Spoke out against OCI’s decision to ship unprocessed fish to China.
• Opposed elimination of owner/operator fleet separation policy.
• Town Hall on cyber bullying.

• Speeches against Conservative changes to EI system that penalized seasonal workers. Hosted first annual free tax clinics.
• Visited Washington, DC as part of study on closed-containment aquaculture. 
• Death of Ray Guy and Statement in the Commons.
• Spoke out against ACOA patronage appointments.
• Spoke out against closure of Veteran Affairs office in Corner Brook.
• 1st Annual Grand Punt Race, Townies vs. Baymen and formation of the Narrows Group


• Veterans’ issues and Town Hall. 
• Denied access to new DND base in east end St. John’s.
• Spoke out in Commons against war in Iraq.
• Extension of NL food fishery.
• Lauretta Saunders’ murder and call for inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.
• Sunken paper carrier Manolis L. and an ongoing environmental threat to Newfoundland’s northeast coast. 
• Parental/maternity leave and creation of Steering Committee. 
• Spoke out against Marine Atlantic rate increases.
• Fort Amherst/Cape Spear designated as Heritage Sites
• The attacks on Parliament Hill/National War Memorial and Ryan’s account.
• Spoke out regarding government liability for offshore oil spills and proposed changes to Placentia Bay pilot station.
• Spoke out against the federal government’s Last-in, First-out policy re northern shrimp and impact on NL communities. 
• Stood up for historical dependence and adjacency principles. 
• Tour of Fogo Island shrimp plant.
• CETA and the $280-million Fisheries Investment Fund. 
• Meeting with Premier Paul Davis in Ottawa. 
• 2nd annual Grand Punt Race, Townies vs. Baymen. 


• Support of benefits/pensions of Wabush Mines retirees.
• Spoke out against halibut quota distributions and decision by Conservative minister to break away from resource-sharing policy.
• Marine Atlantic and the 2015 budget.
• Spoke out against seizure of seal-skin purse at American border, and lack of NL content in Harper budget. 
• 3rd annual Grand Punt Race, Townies vs. Baymen. 
• City of St. John’s agrees to set aside $20,000 for Narrows Restoration Study. 

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