Green Party leader Elizabeth May said we need a government that’s “excellent” not just “better than awful” to save Vancouver Island from environmental threats like ocean acidification.
May spoke to a room of 115 at the VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station Friday evening during a recent campaign tour event with Green Party candidate Glenn Sollitt.
“Ocean acidification is not nearly talked about enough in this country,” said May. “We’ve changed the chemistry of the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels so the increase in concentration of carbon dioxide would be much higher if not for the fact that so much carbon dioxide is going into the oceans.”
She said the coastline of Vancouver Island is one of the hardest hit areas. “It’s worse in colder waters so as the carbonic acid is formed it occurs much more in colder waters.”
“There is good science being done on this … But the DFO scientists aren’t allowed to talk about what they’re finding.”
She called ocean acidification “one of those compelling, urgent, right here reasons” why the upcoming federal election matters more than ever.
“It’s not just for something called ‘the environment,’” said May. “It’s intrinsic to our economy, the opportunities we have on Vancouver Island and to have a thriving marine-based economy we can’t allow ocean acidification to get worse than it already is.”
May noted many shellfish seeding operations are being moved to Hawaii from Vancouver Island.
“That’s an immediate impact, it’s local and it’s entirely due to human activity burning fossil fuels without recognizing it could have unintended consequences,” she said.
May said fighting for the environment has been “frustrating, on some levels soul-destroying.”
“For several decades we could have done something that meant we’d never see ocean acidification out here, so now we have to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere, the amount of carbon reaching our oceans as rapidly as possible so the damage that’s now inevitable is held to the lowest level possible.”
She said the upcoming federal election is very important.
“We need members of parliament who respect the essence of Westminster style parliamentary democracy and understand that parliament needs to work together and work across party lines to achieve what needs to be done,” she said.
“Electing Green members of parliament matters more than ever because we’re the only ones committed to fixing parliament.”