Terrace resident Ben Korving at a press conference in Ottawa Feb. 20 following the introduction of a bill he inspired that would make all plastics either recyclable or compostable. The bill was introduced by Skeena - Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen, seen here beside Korving. (Photo courtesy Nathan Cullen)

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

Terrace resident Ben Korving was in Ottawa Feb. 20 to watch as his idea to end the use of single-use plastics in Canada was presented as a bill to the House of Commons.

Korving’s proposal won Skeen-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen’s Create Your Canada contest in November, which gave a riding resident an opportunity to see their ideas turned into a private member’s bill and possibly passed into law.

MP Nathan Cullen brought Bill C-429, the Zero Waste Packaging Act, for first reading to the House of Commons Wednesday, and spoke about the initiative with Korving and Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns to media stationed outside.

“What his legislation does is end the use of single-use plastics in Canada, making sure all that all plastics that we consume as consumers, as citizens, has to be compostable or truly recyclable,” Cullen says.

This means everything manufactured in Canada must prove to be recyclable or compostable, putting more responsibility on the producers to reduce the waste they generate instead of the consumers. If passed, the bill would amend the 1999 Canadian Environmental Protection Act and come into force a year after receiving Royal Assent.

READ MORE: Terrace resident wins MP Nathan Cullen’s ‘Create Your Canada’ contest

“We know the facts — our oceans are filling up with plastic, our landfills, too. As much as almost 90 per cent of all plastics that we put in our blue boxes doesn’t end up getting recycled but ends up in the landfill,” Cullen says.

In December, parliamentarians passed motion M-151, A National Strategy to Combat Plastic Pollution, unanimously to develop a plan of action to combat single-use plastic pollution. Korving’s bill would build on that, Johns says.

“This bill that Benjamin has put forward is actually building on that motion and putting it into legislation so we can take real action instead of more voluntary targets which the Liberal government keeps announcing,” Johns said while holding a Tim Hortons cup and plastic water bottles at the press gathering.

The bill notes that while Canada led the creation of the G7 Oceans Plastics Charter committing to 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or recoverable plastics by 2030 but there is a lack of federal legislation in support of this waste reduction target.

“We want to take real, important concrete steps so we can make sure every bit of plastic that we’re using can be recycled,” Johns says.

Korving also spoke about the initiative with his son while in Ottawa.

“I came up with this idea because I believe that product packaging is over the top right now and Canada really has a chance to stand up to the plate on the world stage, join the ranks of the European Union and move forward in that regard,” Korving says. “I think most Canadians are ready for some change.”

Plastic pollution has certainly been on the minds of many Terrace residents, even if the City of Terrace isn’t quite there yet.

On Feb. 1, Leticia Kistamas asked Terrace city council to implement a phased-in ban of single-use plastics city-wide.

Even though one of the objectives in the city’s Official Community Plan is to review the viability of a municipal ban on plastic bags, the city chose to refer the issue over to the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, which handles waste and recyclables in the region, to coordinate because they are “in a better position to roll it out.”

READ MORE: Terrace resident asks council to consider city-wide ban of single-use plastics

Speaking Thurs. Feb 21, Cullen declined to comment specifically on the city’s decision to refer the single—use plastics matter to the regional district now that both Kistamas and Horving are Terrace residents advocating for change.

Local governments don’t often have the resources to deal with the myriad types of plastics now in use, he said.

“We’ve got to go upstream to the manufacturers,” Cullen says.

He did say many local governments in the riding support the bill inspired by Horving but didn’t know if Terrace was on the list.

Private member’s bills rarely become an Act of Parliament although Cullen did introduce one in 2015 to ban oil tankers from the north coast, something that did take place in 2017 when the federal government introduced its own legislation.

Cullen said the Zero Waste Packaging Act bill and the Create Your Canada program were enthusiastically received by MPs from all parties.

Now that the bill has been tabled, the next step is to have it given second reading followed by a vote and if it passes it will head to the standing environment committee for detailed study.

Provided the bill comes out of the committee, it is sent back to the House of Commons for a third a final reading and if successful, is then sent to the Senate for its consideration. If that is successful, Royal Assent then follows.

Citizens who want to support the Zero Waste Packaging Act can add their signature to the bill online.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Nathan CullenPlastic Bag Banterrace

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

Daughter sets up GoFundMe page for mother recovering from a rare autoimmune disease

Jenn Farr Stephens, Vanderhoof resident, has been diagnose with Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Class of 2020 to tour Vanderhoof’s downtown core in a “reverse parade”

Organizers are requesting businesses to make the day special for graduates this year as COVID-19 disrupted their celebration this year.

Peaceful protest in Vanderhoof to show support for minority groups

The demonstration will be held on June 6 and will start at Ferland Park.

Pain, love and hope: Vanderhoof grad writes poem dedicated to the Class of 2020

By Skyler Fitzpatrick, Grade 12 student at Nechako Valley Secondary School READ… Continue reading

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read