Ryan Cleary has been the New Democrat Member of Parliament for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl since the 2011 federal election. As part of Tom Mulcair’s NDP team, Ryan is known for defending Newfoundland and Labrador at every opportunity.
Ryan serves as Official Opposition critic for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and sits on the House of Commons Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans—Newfoundland and Labrador’s only representative there. Ryan is recognized as an MP who stands on his feet on all federal issues affecting Newfoundland and Labrador, including Employment Insurance; Canada Post; affordable child care; parental benefits; support for veterans, seniors and persons with disabilities; the offshore oil industry; search and rescue; and the rising cost of the Marine Atlantic service.
Ryan is a vocal advocate for properly managed fisheries, which have been threatened by decades of Conservative and Liberal mismanagement. His first act as an MP was to introduce legislation in the House of Commons calling for an inquiry on the issue. He also joined in the successful battle against the Harper government’s plan to eliminate owner-operator/fleet separation policies—sacred pillars of our traditional inshore fishery.
Ryan fought successfully for an extension to the 2014 cod food fishery and continues to advocate for the principle of adjacency in the northern shrimp stock fishery. He also forced the Atlantic Pilotage Authority to abandon its plan to move pilots deeper into Placentia Bay, an area already deemed at high risk for an oil spill. In February, 2015, Ryan led debate on a motion calling on the Harper government to honour its commitment to contribute $280 million to a Fisheries Investment Fund in exchange for relinquishing Minimum Processing Requirements as part of the Canada/EU trade deal.
Since his election, Ryan has been instrumental in many initiatives throughout the riding, including forming The Narrows Group, a neighbourhood group dedicated to protecting the historic entrance to St. John’s Harbour. He was also behind the start-up of the annual Grand Punt Race, Townies vs. Baymen, a wooden-boat race in St. John’s Harbour designed to focus attention on the state of The Narrows and the punt itself.
As a result of Ryan’s efforts, the Fort Amherst Lighthouse has been painted; a plan to install a cell tower off Waterford Bridge Road near a school, playground, and walking trails was shelved; Internet was installed in an area of the western edge of the riding; and funding was secured to move the cenotaph from the old Legion on Park Avenue in Mount Pearl to St. David’s Field.
Ryan has offered free tax clinics from his Mount Pearl constituency office, and he has held regular public meetings on the federal Disability Tax Credit, which has meant thousands of dollars in retroactive tax credits for his constituents. Ryan and his team have also helped thousands of constituents who have experienced problems with the federal programs and services.
Ryan works closely with municipal councils and community groups in his riding, and presented 30 constituents with Diamond Jubilee Awards in recognition of their outstanding contribution to their community and province.
Before entering politics, Ryan was an award-winning reporter and editor. After graduating from the journalism program at the Stephenville campus of the College of the North Atlantic, Ryan worked at The Telegram, The Newfoundland Herald, NTV, The Independent and was a correspondent for Time Magazine (Canadian edition). He also hosted Nightline, a call-in show on the VOCM network.
Ryan has won or been nominated in most print categories of the Atlantic Journalism Awards, and has twice been nominated as part of a team of journalists for the prestigious Michener Award, the highest award in Canada for public-service journalism. In Ryan’s first year as editor of The Independent, the province-wide newspaper was nominated for a Michener for a cost-benefit analysis of Confederation.
Ryan lives in downtown St. John’s with his two sons, Benjamin and Christopher.