Green Party Statement on World Ocean Day

OTTAWA – This year’s World Ocean Day theme, Life and Livelihoods, coincides with the launch of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and is in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #14: “to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. Canada, along with other UN member states, has committed to achieve all 17 SDGs by 2030, and the Green Party incorporated all 17 into its 2019 platform.

“Canada is fortunate to have access to three oceans, and the livelihoods of Canadian coastal communities are intricately connected to the health of these marine environments,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “The Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans have been a source of food and celebration for Indigenous coastal communities for centuries. It is vital that Indigenous leaders participate in all negotiations involving the management and implementation of sustainable fisheries, fishing rights and ocean conservation. 

“In addition to the wealth of knowledge that First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation so generously share, failing to include their input on matters concerning the stewardship of oceans and the environment would deny their inalienable rights and true nation-to-nation negotiations. The federal government must continue to invest and support Indigenous coastal communities while seeking to strengthen relationships between all Canadian who rely on the oceans for their livelihoods.”

Climate change continues to threaten oceans worldwide. Increased carbon emissions contribute to ocean warming which in turn affects weather patterns, intensifies storms and damages coastal ecology, habitats and marine life. The Green Party of Canada will continue to propose an ambitious climate action plan that provides a clear, robust framework for Canada to reduce its greenhouse gases (GHGs) and meet its international obligations. 

“Plastic waste is another threat to marine life,” said Ms. Paul. “We welcome the release of the Ocean Plastic’s Charter earlier this year, and are cautiously optimistic that Canada will work with regional and global partners, as well as across all sectors of industry to tackle this disruptive waste at source. Solutions are there; once the political and corporate will is harnessed, action can be swift. Additionally, we can individually do our part to reduce plastic waste and prevent it from ever ending up in waterways and oceans. 

“We must develop a better understanding of how water connects us. From the smallest stream, to Canada’s Great Lakes, rivers and watersheds, every drop of water returns to the ocean and the health of those oceans affects everyone.”

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Rosie Emery

Press Secretary