NDP leader Jagmeet Singh made a campaign stop in Ladysmith Friday morning to announce that if elected, the NDP would form a $40-million coastal protection plan to combat marine debris and pollution in Canadian coastal waters.
“This fund’s going to protect salmon, help us reinforce the coast guard, and make sure we continue… the work of making sure abandoned vessels are cleaned up, because they pose a risk to polluting the coastline,” Singh said.
He also spoke out against coal and grain freighters that have been parking along Vancouver Island’s coastline. Vancouver Island residents have expressed concern that freighters are damaging marine ecosystems and increase the risk of oil spills.
Singh said he would continue fighting against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, and slammed Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for approving the project. He also pledged to end fossil fuel subsidies immediately.
“I am going to end immediately fossil fuel subsidies. I’m going to take those billions of dollars and invest it in clean and renewable energy.” Singh said.
When asked how he will get the provinces and territories on board with his proposal, Singh said that the federal government can end fossil fuel subsidies without consulting provincial governments.
In terms of investments in renewable energy, Singh said getting the provinces on board is a matter of putting the “right incentives on the table”.
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson and Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP candidate Bob Chamberlin joined Singh in the announcement.
During her time in parliament, Malcolmson tabled a private members bill to deal with the issue of derelict vessels.
Her bill was defeated in favour of a Liberal bill. In 2018, Chamberlin played a large role in implementing the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to reach a settlement with the B.C. government that prevented salmon farms from impeding the natural spawning routes of wild salmon.