The federal election is coming up fast (Sep 20, 2021). Will you help ensure your candidates make clean water and wild salmon a priority?
There are many ways to make your voice heard during election time:
- by submitting questions at virtual town halls, debates and all-candidates meetings;
- when you’re phoned or visited by your candidate or someone on their team;
- on social media;
- on radio phone-in shows; or
- by visiting a candidate’s campaign office (in a COVID-safe manner).
The important thing is to pick one and do it! And to help, we’ve compiled some questions you can ask.
Remember to be respectful and brief, but make sure they answer your questions. Bring your questions on paper in case you need to leave them with a candidate for follow-up. You may want to record the answers to your questions so you can hold your future representative to account!
Preamble: Introduce yourself briefly, say something about why wild salmon and clean water are important to you and your family and/or community. State your concern (e.g., massive declines in salmon abundance, salmon farms, habitat destruction). Ask your question(s).
Some questions you can ask:
- Global warming is decimating our wild salmon by creating hostile conditions for them in both the ocean and freshwater, and Canada is one of the world’s biggest emitters of heat-trapping air pollution. What will your government do to dramatically reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and our production and consumption of fossil fuels, and how fast will you do it?
- Salmon farms spread harmful viruses and parasites to young wild salmon and British Columbians want them gone. The last federal government committed to transitioning open-net salmon farms out of B.C. waters by 2025, but then did not take meaningful steps towards this goal. What is your plan and timeline to remove open-net salmon farms from B.C. waters to protect wild salmon stocks?
- Restoring habitat is critical to rebuilding struggling wild salmon runs and helping them adapt to climate change. Thousands of kilometres of salmon habitat are needlessly blocked by old culverts and obsolete flood control structures around B.C. If elected, will your government commit to significantly increasing salmon habitats by funding salmon-safe flood control that protects our communities and gives our salmon a fighting chance? How will you do so?
- Responsible fishery management is essential to help B.C.’s wild salmon survive the ravages of global warming. Will your government (a) ensure the commercial salmon fishery closures recently announced by Minister Jordan are put into effect; (b) address illegal, unregulated and unreported salmon fishing; and (c) ensure management reference points are put into place for all salmon fisheries?
- Fisheries Act enforcement: Ongoing habitat destruction, such as removal of riparian zones and instream destruction by recreational vehicles, is harming salmon and other endangered fish populations like the white sturgeon in the lower Fraser River. What will you do to ensure the modernized, strengthened Fisheries Act will be used as it was intended, to protect sensitive and important fish habitats? How will you ensure DFO enforces its own laws?
- Water for fish: The federal government, through Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is responsible for ensuring healthy and sustainable aquatic ecosystems through habitat protection and sound science. This year, communities across the province have experienced severe heat and drought conditions that have left fish, including wild Pacific salmon, cooking in streams or stranded due to low water. How will you and your party support the province in securing and restoring freshwater streams and rivers for salmon and other species? Will your party commit to supporting the B.C. government’s Healthy Watersheds Initiative?
- Defending and rebuilding wild salmon: Under Canada’s modernized Fisheries Act, official recovery plans are now required for all endangered salmon and steelhead populations. But no recovery plans have been created since the law came into effect two years ago. Will your government commit to having recovery plans in place for all endangered salmon and steelhead populations within the first two years of your administration?