September 14, 2021
Vote for the oceans on election day
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BY: Rachelle Naddaf
The September 20 federal election is quickly approaching. With growing threats like climate change and plastic pollution, more than ever, Canada needs to take ocean conservation seriously. Elections are your chance to speak up for the issues you care about. Make sure you’re registered and have a plan to vote on or before election day to ensure your voice is heard.
Why voting for the oceans matters
Our oceans are facing more and greater threats than ever before. The International Panel on Climate Change recently released its 2021 Climate Report detailing how human activity has already affected the Earth’s climate and oceans and how much worse things could get without dramatic, immediate and concerted efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Rising ocean levels, warming ocean temperatures, declining sea ice, increasing ocean acidification and decreasing oxygen levels are just some of the challenges our oceans are facing from climate change. These challenges compound existing threats, such as pollution and overfishing, resulting in declining populations and the loss of habitat.
Dive into the details
To make an informed decision, we encourage you to read each federal party’s platform, linked below. When reading the platforms, pay close attention to whether there are real commitments with measurable goals and outcomes.
(To easily find commitments on issues that are important to you in these documents, click and hold CTRL and F to bring up a search bar and type in keywords like “plastic,” “habitat protection” or “traceability,” for example.)
We urge you to get to know your local candidates. You can find the candidates in your riding by visiting elections.ca and searching by postal code. It’s important to know who you’re voting for and what they stand for; engaging with your candidates directly is a great way to do this!
To help you, here are a few ocean-related questions that you could ask your local candidates to see where they and their party stand on ocean issues. Reach out with an email or call and ask:
- I am concerned about the impact plastic is having on the environment, our oceans and even our bodies. And I know I’m not the only one. What will your party do to address the plastic pollution crisis at the source and reduce the amount of plastic that is produced?
- Study after study shows that seafood mislabelling is a problem in Canada. Given that seafood fraud poses health risks, hurts our fisheries and the economy, and perpetuates overfishing, human rights abuses and destructive illegal fishing practices, what will your party do to ensure transparency in seafood supply chains and keep mislabelled and illegal products out of Canada?
- Canadians are missing out on the economic, social and cultural benefits that come from healthy populations of wild fish . Currently more than a third of Canada’s marine fish populations are depleted and only one quarter are healthy. What will your party do to rebuild fish populations to healthy levels?
- The remaining 360 critically endangered North Atlantic right whales could go extinct in my lifetime. These animals are dying because they are becoming entangled in fishing gear or are being struck by vessels. What will your party do to protect them from extinction?
- What will your party do to protect ocean habitat, for example through the creation of Marine Protected Areas that restrict or limit activities that could damage ocean ecosystems?
Your candidates are running for office to represent the interests of their constituents (that means you!), so don’t be shy to ask them direct questions about the issues that are important to you. By doing so, you are showing them that ocean issues matter and that their constituents are demanding strong action from the government.
To learn more about the topics discussed in this blog and how Oceana Canada is campaigning every day to protect the ocean visit Oceana.ca/Campaigns and please exercise your right to vote.
See you at the polls!