Polluting should not be free. Harmful single-use plastics will be banned. These are encouraging words from today’s throne speech.
Rightly so, the throne speech focused on Canadians’ health and well-being as the crucial part of our economic recovery as well as on helping communities and workers. Oceana Canada was particularly encouraged by the government’s continued commitment to invest in our blue economy – Canada’s oceans – to help us prosper and create more opportunities for fishers, coastal communities and for sustainable fisheries. Healthy, abundant oceans can and must contribute to our nation’s collective recovery.
The Canadian government has made historic commitments to ensure our oceans are healthy and abundant. Delivering on these commitments is central to harnessing the potential of Canada’s blue economy, and we urge the government to continue its investment in rebuilding depleted fish stocks to ensure there are jobs – and fish – for our children and grandchildren.
The pandemic, climate change, habitat destruction and persistent overfishing have made it more urgent than ever that we invest in our oceans as the Earth’s largest life-support system. Indeed, the Canada we protect and invest in today will create the resilient Canada we want tomorrow.
In addition to banning harmful single-use plastics and rebuilding fisheries, Oceana Canada is calling for continued investments to support the government’s commitments on protecting North Atlantic right whales from extinction and introducing boat-to-plate traceability to prevent seafood fraud and illegal fishing.
The government has already made strides on each of these priorities, but there is a lot left to do, and they are fundamentally connected to the health of communities, economies and the planet. We deeply believe that action on them will help Canada emerge stronger than ever.