June 8th, 2018
June 8th, 2018
Oceans are one of our most precious sources of life. From the food and natural resources that they provide, to their indescribable beauty, power and wonder, oceans impact our way of life in tremendous ways.
For me personally, oceans and bodies of water are particularly special. Ever since I was a child, my first instinct when I see a body of water is to go swimming.
In Canada, we have the longest coastlines on the entire planet. That’s why, alongside Canadians on all three coasts, I’ve been watching in alarm as our oceans continue to face existential threats.
There is no doubt we are facing a plastic pollution crisis – a growing amount of plastic is ending up on our shores. And what we can see is just a tiny proportion of what is actually floating on the world’s oceans. Up to 20 million tons of plastic debris enters the world’s oceans every year.
Right now, Canada has no national policy to prevent plastics from entering our waters, and no mechanisms to clean up plastic pollution. Canada also lags behind the more than 40 countries that have taken concrete steps to address plastic waste and plastic production.
This year, World Oceans Day falls on the same day that the Prime Minister will be leading the G7 discussion on ocean plastics. I call on the Prime Minister to back up his rhetoric of being a climate change leader, and stop with the inaction. This is why New Democrats are tackling this crisis head on.
For example, NDP MP Gord MP Gord Johns, has worked tirelessly to create a National Strategy to Combat Plastic Pollution.
Gord’s work aims to create permanent, dedicated, and annual funding for community led clean ups, and reduce consumer and industrial dependence on single-use plastics – along with a variety of other concrete proposals to help Canada beat plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways.
NDP MP Fin Donnelly has spent years putting forward concrete proposals and legislation that would protect marine life in our waterways. I’m also inspired by Fin’s work to protect our coastline with his proposed prohibition against oil tankers, working to prevent catastrophic damage to our coastal eco-system.
We need a government with the courage to act, and a concrete plan to curb the threats to our oceans and protect our fragile eco-systems.
On World Oceans Day, let’s recommit ourselves to the protection of our oceans. We only have one planet, so it’s on all of us to do our part in defending our coasts, marine life and ocean eco-systems.