|Harper set to pull teeth from Fisheries Act
Living Oceans Society is alarmed by the Harper government’s alleged plan to remove habitat protection from the federal Fisheries Act. The changes to the Act will remove the most important protection that we have for the freshwater and marine habitat that Canada’s fish species depend upon. It also threatens long-established coastal industries such as commercial and sport fisheries, ecotourism, and fish processing plants.
Can you help us stop this gutting of Canada’s environmental protection? Please call MP Randy Kamp, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans at his B.C. constituency office (604-466-2761) or his office in Ottawa (613-947-4613) right away. Tell Mr. Kamp that without viable habitat for fish, the health of coastal and ocean ecosystems will suffer, and so will the coastal economies that depend on them. Tell him his government must not proceed with this revision to the Fisheries Act.
Then call your MP whether they are in government or opposition.
The habitat protection provisions of Canada’s Fisheries Act are one of the most important and effective pieces of environmental legislation in this country. “Section 35”, as it’s known, doesn’t just protect fish habitat – it helps protects entire ecosystems. Its loss would be devastating.
Please call before this revision can be included in the Omnibus Budget Bill which will be tabled in the House of Commons on March 29. Once this change to the Act is introduced, Stephen Harper’s government will use their majority to ram it through Parliament.
Without habitat protection in the Fisheries Act there are no barriers to projects and activities that could destroy fish habitats. For example, if this crucial requirement is removed and the Northern Gateway pipeline is approved, Enbridge may be responsible for preventing harm to critical salmon bearing rivers and spawning grounds. If habitat protection is eviscerated from the Act then there could be little opportunity for public input on new salmon farms or on expansions at existing salmon farms.
Please call Mr. Kamp and your MP today. Time is of the essence. We must work together now to avert enormous environmental harm for the future.
Best regards, Mary Lindsay, Interim Executive Director