It is now more than eight years since the Oceans Act came into force as Canada’s modern legal framework for integrated coastal and ocean management (ICOM).1 Although there have been several integrated management initiatives at the national, regional and provincial levels, the assessment of the record to date is not a simple matter. This difficulty is well illustrated by the 2001 parliamentary review of the Oceans Act and the federal government’s response.2 The House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (Standing Committee) concluded that

[T]he Oceans Act is fundamentally sound and [the Committee] does not recommend any major amendments to the Act at this time. Nevertheless, the Committee has some concerns over the administration of certain aspects of the Act. Certain principles and programs that were key elements of the Act do not appear to have been as fully implemented as they could or should have been. In addition, a number of more specific concerns were raised particularly with respect to the creation of Marine Protected Areas and Integrated Management (Part II, Oceans Management Strategy) and marine services (Part III, Powers, Duties and Functions of the Minister) that the Committee believes should be given due consideration.3