June 11th, 2018

NDP: Oceans Plastics Charter Misses the Mark

NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) and NDP Fisheries and Oceans Critic Fin Donnelly (Port Moody-Coquitlam) have criticized Canada's proposed Oceans Plastic Charter as it fails to respond to Canadians’ calls for action, and lacks concrete steps that will effectively address the root causes of plastic pollution.

“This Charter is a non-binding, voluntary agreement that focuses on recycling and recovery rather than solving the problem at the source, and that’s simply not good enough,” said Johns. “Canada needs to adopt a national strategy that will legislate binding and clear targets, actions and funds dedicated to combat plastic pollution in our waters,” added Donnelly.

Plastic pollution in our waterways is a global threat to our environment. Since 1995, governments worldwide have been talking about protecting marine environments from the impact of land-based activities, yet Canada still has no national policy to prevent plastics from entering our waters, or mechanisms to clean up existing pollution.

In November 2017, Johns introduced a motion, M-151 a national strategy to combat plastic pollution. The motion is scheduled for debate in the House of Commons in mid-October 2018 and is based on a report produced by the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law School.

“The Liberals are only skimming the surface of the issue,” said Donnelly. “If the government truly wants to clean up our oceans, Canada must first introduce comprehensive legislation here at home. We need real action to protect our oceans and waterways, not more talk from this government.”