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Johns calls for action plan to tackle ‘salmon emergency’

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Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns is on a mission in 2020.

It’s to raise awareness about what he’s calling a salmon emergency.

He said the coastal ecosystem is under immense pressure.

“In light of the crisis that we’re facing right now with the salmon emergency taking place, it’s really important that we have people representing our regions that understand the challenges we face, and how important salmon is in our ecosystem and our oceans, and protection of the species that are interconnected in our oceans,” he said.

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Johns said the Liberal government needs to address the issue of bringing wild salmon back to abundance.

“It’s a huge task in front of us,” he said. “We are going to have to pull together and make sure that the government responds with an action plan that’s going to make sure that we have salmon in the future for the next generation and generations to come.” 

Looking back at the past year, Johns said the federal NDP has worked to support people locally and across the nation.

“I’m really proud of the fact that we were able to get some really important strategic investments into our communities for local governments, that we were able to make sure that our message was heard in Ottawa, around issues that are important around environmental protection (and) social infrastructure that’s necessary in support for an economy that works for everyone,” he said.

He was also happy that the throne speech addressed key issues including reducing plastic pollution, and support for a national Pharmacare and dentacare plan.

But at the same time, he said it didn’t go far enough: “Of course we are disappointed to not see those investments happening in our communities at the level that is necessary, and let’s hope that in 2020 we can  get some traction on important issues related to climate change and housing, and things that are going to make a difference in the lives of everyday Canadians.”

On a personal level, it was an eventful year for Johns, who was re-elected for a second term in October, and was appointed critic for fisheries and oceans in late November by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. 

Johns called being re-elected “a huge honour.”

“A lot of gratitude to the people of Courtenay-Alberni for sending me back to Ottawa to do the important work that we need to do,” he said. 

“I wake up every day knowing that there is a lot of work to do and I’m excited to work with people in our communities and people right across our country to improve the lives of everyday Canadians.”

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