We need bold and urgent action to protect our oceans. There is no time for partisan politics or delays. 

Addressing plastic pollution in our aquatic environments has been a priority for me since I was first elected to represent Courtenay-Alberni in 2015. All federal parties unanimously supported my motion for a national oceans plastic strategy. This contributed to an international agreement with G7 nations and a new policy to ban single use plastics in Canada. 

My action in partnership with regional and First Nations governments and local seafood producers resulted in the removal of abandoned vessels that threatened more than sixty local jobs on the east coast of our Courtenay-Alberni riding on Vancouver Island. My advocacy for a national policy on derelict vessels contributed to a new federal policy.

I am fighting to protect our oceans through multiple initiatives including pushing for a moratorium on deep seabed mining, national regulations on ship recycling, and federal investment in Pacific wild salmon restoration including protection of habitat.

IN THE NEWS- The Liberals are jeopardizing our planet by leaving the door open for deep-sea mining

NDP Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Critic, Lisa Marie Barron and Deputy Critic Gord Johns made the following joint statement:    
"Oceans play a massive role in maintaining our climate and ecosystem - nearly 50 percent of the Earth is international seabed. For coastline and Indigenous communities, Canada's oceans are fundamental to our lives and economy. Yet, our government is doing nothing to fight against deep-sea mining in international waters that would threaten Canada's oceans.   
The International Seabed Authority is tasked with protecting the seabed, but Canada has been missing in action. The Liberals only sent a delegate to the International Seabed Authority this year after missing six opportunities in six years – this is beyond appalling. The decisions being made now impact Canada’s future.    
The international seabed is the last untouched area on earth – and the Liberals are leaving the door open for it to be mined by rich companies. While Canadian mining companies are seeking to pillage this global commons, other nations are raising the alarm. 
Seabed mining completely disrupts delicate ocean ecosystems – and the consequences are devastating. Deep-sea mining creates plumes of metal particles, which travel across our oceans – polluting vast areas and ecosystems. But the Liberals would rather protect potential profits over our oceans.     
By staying quiet during the ongoing United Nations Ocean Treaty discussions, the Liberal government and Minister Murray are doing nothing while pretending to be environmental leaders. New Democrats know that real climate leadership is about prioritizing our oceans instead of hypothetical profits for rich mining companies. Time is running out to protect our oceans.
Canada needs to be a global leader in ocean protection by calling for a moratorium on deep-seabed mining through the application of the precautionary principle and an increase in research being conducted into the harm it will have on our oceans, coastlines and ecosystems.

The NDP will always fight to protect our oceans instead of corporations – we will keep pushing the government to protect our oceans by safeguarding ecosystems, transitioning to renewable energy and a green economy.”    

IN THE NEWS – Times Colonist - Comox Valley Regional District goes to court to halt ship-breaking at Union Bay

The Concerned Citizens of Baynes ‘Sound and the K'omoks First Nation fear pollutants from the industrial operation will affect Baynes Sound.

Much of B.C.'s oyster production takes place in the sound.

It is an ecologically and biologically significant area and it is a major herring spawning ground, Gord Johns, NDP MP for Courtenay-Alberni, told the House of Commons. Johns and the First Nation are calling on the federal government to bring in tough ship-breaking regulations

New plan for spot prawn fishery is a win for harvesters: NDP Gord Johns says

NANAIMO – NDP critic for fisheries and oceans Lisa Marie Barron and deputy critic Gord Johns say that the newly-announced plan for prawn and shrimp fisheries from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is a victory for B.C. prawn harvesters. This decision comes after months of uncertainty and proposed regulation changes by the Liberal government, which would have threatened the livelihoods of independent harvesters.

“Prawn harvesters have finally had their voices heard, and a common-sense solution was found,” said Johns. “Key stakeholders have been working together for months to raise these concerns; they shared petitions and appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.  But the Liberals should not have put harvesters through this stress and uncertainty in the first place. It's good to see that the right solution was found in the end.”

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