This week we celebrate Canadian Environment week, a chance for us to come together to preserve our beautiful Canadian landscape and commit to protecting it for the future.

Today, in honour of Canadian Environment week, we look to one of the world’s greatest treasures – The Great Bear Rainforest.

The Great Bear Rainforest is the world’s largest temperate rainforest or “lungs of the earth” as the locals call it, because of its high oxygen production.

The protection of the Great Bear Rainforest is just one reason why I am proud to sponsor Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, an important step to protect this treasured rainforest by banning the movement of super tankers off of the north pacific coast and surrounding Great Bear Sea.

The Great Bear Rainforest is where one of the world’s largest remaining coastal temperate rainforests meets one of the world’s last undammed wild salmon rivers. In fact, over 2,500 salmon migrations happen each year in these naturally undammed rivers.

The Great Bear Sea is home to many populations of salmon, particularly, Chinook salmon – a population of northern pacific salmon recently classified as endangered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Nearly half of British Columbia’s Salmon population is in decline while Chinook salmon populations are in danger of being wiped out completely.

Salmon is key to a flourishing environment. For the Great Bear Rainforest, salmon is a vital component for its healthy ecosystem.

The entire ecosystem of the Great Bear Rainforest depends on the salmon mating and spawning season.  Some animals actually delay reproduction so the burden of nursing their young is timed during the salmon-spawning season.

On this precious coast, land and sea are intricately connected. The interconnectivity is such that an oil spill in the marine environment would seriously and negatively impact wildlife, marine animals, the ecosystem and the jobs these support. The costs of an oil spill in this precious ecosystem and to the endangered and threatened species of salmon is too great a risk.

This week during Canadian Environment week, let us as Canadians commit to protecting our precious heritage.

Let us commit to doing all we can, big or small, to protect such an incredible part of our Canadian landscape.

This week during Canadian Environment week, let us seize this opportunity to protect the Great Bear Rainforest from an oil spill by entrenching in law Bill C-48.