Nature Canada

Petition Update: One step closer to making the Laurentian Passage safe for whales

On Tuesday, April 9, Nature Canada and a team of organizations from the Nature Network delivered a major ocean protection petition containing 7732 signatures to Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Jonathan Wilkinson.

The petition brought together voices from across Canada – from locals on the East Coast who see migrating whales every season, to concerned citizens in downtown Toronto or rural Manitoba who want to see the Laurentian Channel protected.

Together we delivered a simple but powerful message: the ocean life travelling this migratory waterway off the coast of Nova Scotia needs protection now!

No oil and gas

Protection must mean protection–from boat collisions, bottom trawling, seabed mining and oil and gas.

Together with the Ecology Action Centre we also presented the Minister with a second petition with over 3500 signatures that demands an end to oil and gas and other harmful industrial activity in all marine protected areas.

There was no escaping citizen voices for nature that day on Parliament Hill. We were there for #NatureDay working with local groups from across the country to bring a message to our elected representatives that Canada needs to double protected areas by 2020.

Protecting the Laurentian Whale Passage must be a key part of this action.  We are grateful for all of those who have signed the call to action.

Your voice joins a chorus of others. Nature Canada isn’t the only organization working on this area. We want to recognize years of work from other groups, including Ecology Action Centre, World Wildlife Fund and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

What needs to happen now?

We’ve delivered the petitions, and you may be wondering what happens next.

Our meeting with Minister Wilkinson was positive.

Last week, during the announcement of a new agreement with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the government indicated it will restrict petroleum development in the proposed Laurentian Channel Marine Protected Area.

We’re seeing early, positive signs that the government may be at a tipping point in the decision to permanently protect the Laurentian Whale Passage.

We can’t say for sure when the government will announce a decision on the new protected area and the protection standards that will be applied. We hope it will be a matter of weeks, rather than months. Your signature will help speed the process up.

Thank you for your help. There are no guarantees– so until the Laurentian Whale Passage is protected, we’re still collecting signatures. If you haven’t already, please add your name and help us protect iconic marine species today!

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