August 26th, 2022
The Liberals are jeopardizing our planet by leaving the door open for deep-sea mining
NDP Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Critic, Lisa Marie Barron, and Deputy Critic, Gord Johns, made the following joint statement:
Oceans play a massive role in maintaining our climate and ecosystem - nearly 50 percent of the Earth is international seabed. For coastline and Indigenous communities, Canada's oceans are fundamental to our lives and economy. Yet, our government is doing nothing to fight against deep-sea mining in international waters that would threaten Canada's oceans.
The International Seabed Authority is tasked with protecting the seabed, but Canada has been missing in action. The Liberals only sent a delegate to the International Seabed Authority this year after missing six opportunities in six years – this is beyond appalling. The decisions being made now impact Canada’s future.
The international seabed is the last untouched area on earth – and the Liberals are leaving the door open for it to be mined by rich companies. While Canadian mining companies are seeking to pillage this global commons, other nations are raising the alarm.
Seabed mining completely disrupts delicate ocean ecosystems – and the consequences are devastating. Deep-sea mining creates plumes of metal particles, which travel across our oceans – polluting vast areas and ecosystems. But the Liberals would rather protect potential profits over our oceans.
By staying quiet during the ongoing United Nations Ocean Treaty discussions, the Liberal government and Minister Murray are doing nothing while pretending to be environmental leaders. New Democrats know that real climate leadership is about prioritizing our oceans instead of hypothetical profits for rich mining companies. Time is running out to protect our oceans.
Canada needs to be a global leader in ocean protection by calling for a moratorium on deep-seabed mining through the application of the precautionary principle and an increase in research being conducted into the harm it will have on our oceans, coastlines and ecosystems.
The NDP will always fight to protect our oceans instead of corporations – we will keep pushing the government to protect our oceans by safeguarding ecosystems, transitioning to renewable energy and a green economy.