On July 7, 2017, the Comox Valley Chapter met with MP Gord Johns, Courtenay – Alberni, to present him with a copy of Maude Barlow’s “Boiling Point” and to discuss the Navigation Protection Act. We were fortunate to have him joined by MP Guy Caron, Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques, and leadership candidate for the federal NDP.
Both MPs were concerned about the disappointing recommendations from the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities on the Navigable Waters Act. They promised that their party would critique the government’s response, and that they would be certain that their critic Robert Aubin (Standing Committee Co-Chair) knew about our meeting.
MP Johns already had the book, told us that he was a “fan” of Maude’s and had been to a number of her events in Ottawa. MP Caron is a past staff member of the Council of Canadians, was very familiar with our materials, and said he was pleased to receive a copy of the book.
Caron suggested that Johns could consider preparing a private members bill (PMB) that would bring all the waters in the riding into the Navigable Waters Act. While a PMB may not actually get on the legislative agenda, it would make it possible for Johns to receive petitions about it and to raise awareness of the issue in Ottawa. The NDP apparently has a template for a PMB for the Navigable Waters Act. MP Johns asked that we and other Council supporters in this riding assist him in preparing this legislation.
Johns also asked that we support a Bill he is developing that would begin to regulate plastics dumping and clean up the oceans. He is working on legislation that would require a fee be levied at each harbour on all tankers carrying plastics, and then direct that fee to a program for ocean and shore clean up. He has asked that we be part of a consultation he intends to hold in the fall.