On June 17, 2015, Bruce Hyer MP for Superior North, Green Party of Canada, accomplished a long-sought goal: the creation of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area along the north shore of Lake Superior.

This was achieved through a unanimous consent vote on Bill C-61, within the House of Commons, Government of Canada, Ottawa.

Hyer stated “Now I am working on getting a similar fast track through the Senate. If we can get it through the Senate, it will mean many positive benefits for communities through Thunder Bay east through Terrace Bay, including Red Rock, Nipigon, Dorian, Rossport, Schreiber,, as well as Pays Plat and Lake Helen First Nations. Those benefits include protection of the islands, marine ecosystems, fisheries, and threatened species, along with an injection of tens of millions of federal dollars, the creation of new jobs, and a new Administrative and Interpretive Centre in Nipigon. I urge citizens to email, write, and call Senators immediately.”

Such is the nature of social change in Canada. From an idea 30 years ago, only to be battered and pushed back along the way by bureaucratic red tape and ignorance, Bruce Hyer’s Bill C-61 has become a reality unanimously proposed by the Canadian Parliament. Throughout his political career Bruce has gone out of his way many times to meet with these affected communities, and restore and maintain hope.

As he has mentioned, there will be nothing but positive spin-off effects from this legislation. Most of these communities currently suffer from slow or no-growth economies, and tourism particularly, will change that reality. I can envisage research stations being set up, hiking trails being marked out, and vastly increased tourist traffic among the pristine islands and shores – all of which will benefit the respective towns and villages spread across 300 km of the Trans-Canada Highway.

I salute you Mr. Hyer for your perseverance and loyalty to the thousands of people along the north shore who have shared your dream. Canada is now a much better place.