Gord Johns

Courtenay-Alberni MP asks government to support ocean plastics strategy

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns reacted to government’s announcement that its plan won’t meet international goals on plastic reduction by urging support for his parliamentary motion for a national ocean plastics strategy.

“The Liberals say they are prioritizing ocean plastics but their recent announcement lacks the urgency and funding that coastal communities were counting on,” Johns said during question period Monday in Ottawa. “Canadians expected more and the environment can’t wait. Will the Liberals support my motion, M-151, and commit to binding targets that properly address single use and industrial plastics in our oceans?”

The Minister of Environment announced Thursday at the G-7 First Ministers meeting that government will ban single use plastics from federal institutions and will recycle 75 per cent of its plastics by 2030. Recently, more than 95 per cent of municipalities at the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities voted for a national strategy to address plastic pollution, followed by a similar resolution by the Union of British Columbia Municpaites to support Johns’ parliamentary motion (M-151).

“Just this Saturday, Liz Johnson and Denman Islanders pulled six tons of single use and industrial plastics from Baynes Sound in my riding,” Johns told the House.

The motion, introduced by Johns in November, proposes a strategy to reduce consumer and industrial use of single-use plastics, and other measures including regular funding for an education campaign, community led cleanup projects and a plan to clean up derelict fishing gear. The strategy incorporates recommendations of the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre’s publication, Seven Reforms to Address Marine Plastic Pollution (August, 2017).

“There is no doubt that Canada needs a national plastic strategy that moves us towards zero-plastic waste,”Ashley Wallis of Environmental Justice said. “M-151 acknowledges the need to ‘turn off the tap,’ and keep plastics and plastic debris out of our waterways. We need new regulations that reduce the use of single-use plastics, set aggressive and enforceable recycling and recycled content targets, and that make producers financially and operationally responsible for the plastic materials they put on the market.”

Small Business Walks

Johns will be in Courtenay Oct. 10 during his Small Business Walks tour Oct. 9-12. He plans to canvass small businesses for feedback on how the federal government can better support Canada’s job creators.

His party, the NDP, continues to advocate for the regulation of credit card merchant fees to a competitive rate or reduced level.

To participate in the walks, contact his office at 1-844-620-9924 or gord.johns@parl.gc.ca

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