Mr. Speaker, Canada has the longest coastline on Earth and I rise today to draw attention to World Oceans Day. As Canadians watch the gulf coast catastrophe unfold, it becomes overwhelmingly evident that concrete action must be taken now to protect our oceans.
As New Democrat oceans critic, I acknowledge the government's announcements today to add two new areas of interest. However, as the ministers realize, it takes a long time to go from the AOI stage to becoming an actual marine protected area, a status for which the Race Rocks AOI has been waiting for years. It also requires dedicated resources, funds that will ensure our oceans from the Pacific to the Arctic to the Atlantic are protected. It is unacceptable that 1% of our marine protected waters have been protected to date.
In order to reach our goal of a complete and comprehensive marine protected area system by 2012, I call on all members of the House to honour our national and international commitments to protect our oceans.