Canada has embraced the global awaveofchange campaign following the successful launch of the Federally Incorporated Canadian Not for Profit branch of Plastic Oceans Foundation (POF Canada) alongside the premiere of A Plastic Ocean in Vancouver on 19th January. At POF Canada, we have been working to connect with all the organisations and individuals across Canada that participated in or have upcoming screenings of the film, across the country, from Vancouver through to Halifax and Quebec.
In BC, Local Town Councillor Anne Skipsey, who had previously attended the private screening of A Plastic Ocean at the UBCM (Union of British Columbian Municipalities) Conference in September 2016, was so moved by the film that she wanted to arrange a public screening in her community in Qualicum Beach, BC.
In partnership with Sheri Plummer and Communities Protecting our Coasts (CPOC), a local community environmental group based in the Oceanside area on Vancouver Island, Anne helped to put on a public screening for local residents on Jan 22nd 2017. The screening was attended by over 300 people and included Mayors and Councilors from both the Town of Qualicum Beach and the City of Parksville.
Following the screening, at the Feb 6th Town of Qualicum Beach Regular Council meeting, the Council adopted a resolution asking the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to urge the federal government to take a number of initiatives to address the plastic problem, including prohibiting Single Use Plastics in Canada and working with other countries to establish a global approach to plastics through the use of viable and environmentally friendly alternatives.
Also in response to the documentary and a presentation by CPOC requesting a ban on plastic bags, the Board of the Regional District of Nanaimo resolved to direct staff to:
– draft a resolution to request the film, A Plastic Ocean, be shown at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference;
– look at restricting the use of plastic bags and throw-away plastics; and
– prepare a resolution on the issue of plastics in the oceans to discuss on the floor at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference in June.
This shows that awareness is key to success and that with knowing comes caring. Plastic Oceans in Canada will continue to raise awareness through screenings of A Plastic Ocean across Canada but we will also work alongside and raise funds to support local and national organisations who are also working to solve this global problem, collaboratively, on a local level making us a Canadian Coallition and Hub where we will work to solve a global problem with local action.