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Goldsmith-Jones: Ottawa moves to protect marine environment

Goldsmith-Jones: Ottawa moves to protect marine environment

pam golsmith jonesFor those of us on the west coast, the health of our marine environment is paramount.

On Sept. 27, I rose in the House of Commons to debate amendments to Bill C-55, the Oceans Act, which will allow for the implementation of marine protected areas in a timely manner.  Marine protected areas are a mechanism for protecting the oceans. They balance conservation and protection with sustainable use of marine resources.  Protection of these networks will protect the maritime resources on which marine species depend.

Bill C-55 will enable the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to designate marine protected areas within 24 months, by giving interim designation in advance of the necessary work which takes several years.  Bill C-55 also strengthens the power to lay penalties, ensures that enforcement officers have the power to maintain the protected status of marine protected areas, and enables the minister to confer enforcement authority to local police officers and Indigenous groups such as the Guardian Watchmen.

On the same day I also made a statement in the House of Commons regarding the importance of wild salmon to the coast, the challenges that the open net salmon aquaculture industry faces, and the opportunity to pursue land-based salmon aquaculture in order to deliver on Canada’s innovation economy and development of agrifood exports.

On Oct. 2, I rose in the House of Commons to speak on Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act to prohibit vessels transporting crude or persistent oil along British Columbia’s north coast. This is legislation that our community and British Columbians have worked toward for years.  It is another key aspect of actions we are taking to protect British Columbia’s Pacific coastline.

Thank you to all those who continue to work so hard to ensure that the government of Canada implements legislation to pursue marine protected areas, provides for improving enforcement and an oil tanker ban on the north coast of British Columbia.  Please let me know your thoughts on transitioning to land based salmon aquaculture on the west coast.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback on our government’s work. You can email me at pam.goldsmith-jones@parl.gc.ca, connect with us on Facebook: Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, or stop by our community office in Horseshoe Bay, 6367 Bruce Street 604-913-2660.

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