In the lead-up to an election, politicians and candidates need to keep track of what their constituents are saying and what matters to them. And what matters is sound marine planning that safeguards our precious coastal waters.
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An opinion poll conducted by Vision Critical/Stratcom on March 4 found that 65 per cent of British Columbians believe marine planning led by the province and First Nations is a "good use of government resources." And, a full 78 per cent said they would support all levels of government "investing more to meet the goal of protecting 10% of Canada's marine areas by 2020."
Our own Foundation poll, asking about your priorities for this election, found that reducing pollution risk by opposing oil tankers and safeguarding coastal waters through marine planning were at the top.
B.C. First Nations and the provincial government have an innovative partnership to develop marine plans for the North Pacific Coast. For it to continue beyond the May election, there needs to be political support across all parties.
Despite our government's oceanic failures, there is light on the horizon. Polls continue to show that Canadians of all backgrounds and political leanings value our fisheries and marine wildlife. Marine planning is an area where our political leaders would be well served to hear and respond to the concerns raised by the public. We have a precious resource that benefits so many. Now is the time to do more to protect that resource for future generations.
Do you care about our coastal waters and want to know more about how you can raise the issue this B.C. election? Join us for a Telephone Town Hall discussion on April 10. Find out more and register here.