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Author Topic: Harper plans for elimination of habitat protection: amendment to fisheries act  (Read 5072 times)

chris gadsden

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chris gadsden

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For those that wish to contact the government and the Fishery Minister.



http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/take-action/seafood-oceans/fish-habitat-protection-must-remain-law

chris gadsden

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From yesterday's hansard.

Fisheries and Oceans 
    [table of Contents]
Mr. Fin Donnelly (New Westminster—Coquitlam, NDP): 
    Mr. Speaker, a leaked document has revealed a new Conservative plan to attack the Fisheries Act. It shines light on the government's plan to gut important environmental protection.


    Eliminating habitat protection will set us back decades, making it easier to ram through big industrial projects, like the Enbridge pipeline which we know will have a devastating impact on the environment.


    I ask the minister again, is the Conservative government planning to gut the habitat fisheries, yes or no?

    [table of Contents]
Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC): 
    Mr. Speaker, current fisheries policies go well beyond what is required to protect fish and fish habitat. I can give some examples of that.


    Last year in Saskatchewan, a long-running country jamboree was nearly cancelled after newly flooded fields were deemed fish habitat by fisheries officials. In Richelieu, the application of rules blocked a farmer from draining his flooded field.


    We are looking at the policies, but there has been no decision made.

[Translation]

    [table of Contents]
Mr. Philip Toone (Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, NDP): 
    Mr. Speaker, those are empty words. Canadians know full well that they cannot count on the Conservatives to protect the environment.


    We know that the industry started lobbying the Conservatives in 2006. The government is supposed to protect our fishery, not roll out the red carpet for disastrous mega-projects.


    Are the Conservatives going to do their job or are they going to keep giving their lobbyist friends special treatment? When are they finally going to meet the needs of the fishers?

[English]

    [table of Contents]
Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC): 
    Mr. Speaker, it is more like empty questions. The member opposite obviously has a crystal ball that I do not have.


    What we are looking at is policies. I can tell the member that we have not made any policy changes. We are currently looking at the policies that are in place and how we can improve them to make it better for fish habitat and the fisheries.

    [table of Contents]
Ms. Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.): 
    Mr. Speaker, let us give the minister another chance.


    First, the Conservative government smeared B.C.'s first nations, whom it has a duty to properly consult, by calling them radicals and adversaries.


    Now we have learned that the government plans to relinquish its role in protecting vital salmon and other fish habitat. This is a cynical attempt to shortcut the northern gateway pipeline approval process at the expense of local communities and the environment.


    Will the government commit here and now to drop its plan to gut fish habitat protection?

    [table of Contents]
Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC): 
    Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, these are policies that we are looking at.


    There is ample evidence that the policies we have in place are inhibiting the everyday activities of Canadian landowners. We have a responsibility to Canada and the Canadian public to ensure that we protect our habitat. At the same time the policies have to be reasonable and do not infringe on the everyday way of life of Canadians.

    [table of Contents]
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Cardigan, Lib.): 
    Mr. Speaker, last year purse seiners were unable to catch all of the remaining herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Now we are hearing that the minister has cut a deal to allow massive corporate mid-water trawlers to fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.


    Will the government, knowing that these massive corporate trawlers will destroy the species, inform the House and Canadians that it will not allow this type of trawler in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which will destroy the herring species?

    [table of Contents]
Hon. Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC): 
    Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting question from the member opposite. Days ago he was criticizing me for listening to fishermen and seeking ideas and input from fishermen.


     Obviously, those members probably would not be way down there in the House if they had listened to Canadians and Canadian fishermen.

*   *   *

[Translation]

The Environment 
    [table of Contents]
Ms. Megan Leslie (Halifax, NDP): 
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have transformed a crucial report from the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development into Conservative talking points. The report contains no proof and does not take the points of view of key stakeholders into account. Since no one can support their plan to phase out environmental assessments, they wrote a phony report that supports their case.


    When will they stop producing reports based on their fantasy world?

   (1500) 

    [table of Contents]
Hon. Peter Kent (Minister of the Environment, CPC): 
    Mr. Speaker, that is not true at all.

[English]


    The standing committee has completed its review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and has made some constructive suggestions for improvements to the act that will allow for continued rigorous protection of the environment while at the same time protecting Canadian jobs and the economy.


    Our consideration of legislative change will certainly benefit from the recommendations of the standing committee.

    [table of Contents]
Ms. Megan Leslie (Halifax, NDP): 
    Mr. Speaker, here is the Conservative plan to study environmental assessments: One, ignore important evidence; two, fail to consult key stakeholders; and three, write a phony report full of holes that serves no one but the Conservatives.


    That is not good enough. We are talking about important safeguards here to protect our health, communities and environment. Conservatives are turning environmental assessments into a farce.


    Will the Conservatives put off any changes to the Environmental Assessment Act until a credible review can be done?

    [table of Contents]
Hon. Peter Kent (Minister of the Environment, CPC): 
    Mr. Speaker, if the NDP spent a little less time lobbying against Canadian jobs and a responsibly regulated industry, the member would have a better chance of helping to protect the environment.


    The Environmental Assessment Act and the good work of the agency are very much front of mind. We are well aware of where improvements to the act can be made. That said, we do appreciate the recommendations made by the standing committee.

*   *   *

chris gadsden

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Lots of links on this story.

ttp://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/142710655.html
***************************************************
See also:
http://www.findonnelly.ca/node/416

14MAR12 Aggregated Articles:
http://news.google.ca/news/more?q=Habitat+to+be+Removed+from+the+Canada+Fisheries+Act&hl=en&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=871&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ncl=djN-RE6ltBt-yfM5dULEcfuzAXlLM&ei=7vtgT9ycFKLM2AXHrrSOCA&sa=X&oi=news_result&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQqgIwAA

Checked at 1:20PM

http://www.mysask.com/portal/site/main/template.MAXIMIZE/?javax.portlet.tpst=e4c43b55b5646bb94df4821050315ae8_ws_MX&javax.portlet.prp_e4c43b55b5646bb94df4821050315ae8_viewID=story&javax.portlet.prp_e4c43b55b5646bb94df4821050315ae8_topic_display_name=Environemnt%20News&javax.portlet.prp_e4c43b55b5646bb94df4821050315ae8_topic_name=Environment&javax.portlet.prp_e4c43b55b5646bb94df4821050315ae8_new s_item_id_key=17339496&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken


http://www.globaltvbc.com/canada+poised+to+roll+back+fish+protection+laws+biologist+claims/6442600216/story.html
http://www.globaltvbc.com/canada/ndp+says+leaked+documents+show+feds+abandoning+fresh+water+oversight/6442599865/story.html
http://www.globalregina.com/canada/ndp+says+leaked+documents+show+feds+abandoning+fresh+water+oversight/6442599865/story.html
http://www.globalnews.ca/canada/ndp+says+leaked+documents+show+feds+abandoning+fresh+water+oversight/6442599865/story.html
http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/canada/ndp+says+leaked+documents+show+feds+abandoning+fresh+water+oversight/6442599865/story.html
http://www.globaltoronto.com/canada/ndp+says+leaked+documents+show+feds+abandoning+fresh+water+oversight/6442599865/story.html
http://www.globalmontreal.com/canada/ndp+says+leaked+documents+show+feds+abandoning+fresh+water+oversight/6442599865/story.html
http://www.4-traders.com/TRANSCANADA-CORP-1411996/news/Canada-Weakening-Environment-Laws-To-Aid-Pipelines-Biologist-Says-14215295/
http://www.globalsaskatoon.com/canada/ndp+says+leaked+documents+show+feds+abandoning+fresh+water+oversight/6442599865/story.html
http://www.globalwinnipeg.com/canada/ndp+says+leaked+documents+show+feds+abandoning+fresh+water+oversight/6442599865/story.html
http://www.news1130.com/news/national/article/340497--ndp-says-leaked-documents-show-feds-abandoning-fresh-water-oversight
http://www.metronews.ca/winnipeg/canada/article/1123047--ndp-says-feds-abandon-fresh-water-oversight
http://www.canada.com/Canada+poised+roll+back+fish+protection+laws+government+source/6296423/story.html
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/mps-plan-to-streamline-environmental-oversight-draws-opposition-fire-142482265.html
http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/03/13/leaked-documents-show-feds-ready-to-strip-fisheries-act-ndp/
http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/canada/article/686711--tories-dismantling-environmental-protection-opposition-critics-say
http://www.brandonsun.com/lifestyles/breaking-news/mps-plan-to-streamline-environmental-oversight-draws-opposition-fire-142482265.html?thx=y
http://www.therecord.com/news/canada/article/686710--tories-dismantling-environmental-protection-opposition-critics-say
http://thetyee.ca/CanadianPress/2012/03/13/Environmental-Assessment-17339496/
http://www.570news.com/news/national/article/340497--mps-plan-to-streamline-environmental-oversight-draws-opposition-fire
http://www.660news.com/news/national/article/340497--mps-plan-to-streamline-environmental-oversight-draws-opposition-fire
http://www.burnabynow.com/technology/Leaked+info+huge/6299498/story.html
http://www.royalcityrecord.com/technology/City+wants+know+Tories+weakening+fish+protection/6299285/story.html
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/proposed-fish-habitat-law-changes-protect-industrial-projects-191456718.html
http://www.globaltvbc.com/canada+poised+to+roll+back+fish+protection+laws+biologist+claims/6442600216/story.html
http://www.thevalleyvoice.ca/Voice%20Stories/March%202012/Harper%20Government%20Plans%20to%20Eliminate%20Fish%20Habitat%20Protection%20-%20March%2013%202012.htm
http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/03/13/canada-weakening-environment-laws-to-aid-pipelines-biologist-says/
http://www.theprogress.com/news/142661676.html
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Canada+poised+roll+back+fish+protection+laws+biologist+claims/6295564/story.html
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/73413-feds-neutering-fisheries-act
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/technology/Ottawa+ready+laws+protecting+fish+balance+environmental+economic/6296286/story.html
http://www.hopestandard.com/news/142661676.html
http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/11191-paving-the-way-for-enbridge-second-harper-omnibus-hides-gutting-of-fisheries-act-protections-provision.html
http://www.burnabynow.com/Leaked+info+alleges+Tories+removing+habitat+protection+from+Fisheries/6295018/story.html
http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/seafood-oceans/spotlights/no-habitat-no-fish
http://www.windsorstar.com/Tories+fish+protection+warns+biologist/6298362/story.html

Earlier:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-wants-to-bow-out-of-regulating-fish-habitat-documents-show/article2368513/
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/03/14/pol-cp-freshwater-regulation-environment.html
http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Ottawa+eyes+changes+Fisheries/6300221/story.html
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Tories+spawn+fisheries+changes/6298768/story.html
http://www.burnabynow.com/Leaked+info+alleges+Tories+removing+habitat+protection+from+Fisheries/6295018/story.html
http://thecanadian.org/item/1373-ndp-critic-fin-donnelly-harper-government-changes-fisheries-act
http://blogs.canada.com/2012/03/13/are-tories-secretly-rewriting-the-rules-on-protecting-fish-habitat/

jon5hill

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The most important link so far: Take Action -> http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/take-action/seafood-oceans/fish-habitat-protection-must-remain-law/view

This is of paramount concern for anyone who cares about the environment across Canada.

Please fill this form-email out. It's very simple and took me less than 30 seconds. Spend 30 seconds of your time to help prevent the conservatives from abolishing key parts of the fisheries act.

You must speak out against this or they will push this legislation through!

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IronNoggin

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  • Any River... Any Time....

"When government officials charged with protecting the environment talk about their ability to walk softly and carry a big stick, they are usually referring to the powers invested in them by the Fisheries Act.

The bill, first passed in 1867, has been strengthened several times over the years, most notably in 1986 when the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney brought in key measures to protect fish habitat.

It came as a surprise then, both to environmental organizations and apparently even staff within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, when an internal document was leaked this week indicating the government may water down the bill.

Responding to questions in the House from NDP MP Fin Donnelly, Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield confirmed he is looking at significant changes."


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/ottawa-defends-proposed-fisheries-act-changes/article2372325/
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chris gadsden

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You can see how these proposed changes are serious when a former fishery minister says this.

 Former minister urges PM to resist Fisheries Act changes
 B.C. resident Tom Siddon, who introduced the act while in Brian Mulroney's cabinet, says there's 'no excuse' to water down habitat protection
 By Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun March 17, 2012   A former Progressive Conservative fisheries minister urged the Harper government Friday to reject private sector appeals, which are particularly loud in Western Canada, to water down the federal Fisheries Act.

Tom Siddon, who introduced the policy in 1986 under thenPrime Minister Brian Mulroney, said there's "no justifiable excuse" for removing provisions ensuring the protection of fisheries habitat.

The government, according to information leaked to retired federal fisheries biologist Otto Langer earlier this week, plans to drop any references to habitat. The proposed new wording would prohibit activity that would cause an "adverse effect" on "fish of economic, cultural or ecological value."

The government is responding to complaints from groups such as the Mining Association of Canada, which says $140 billion in potential mining projects are being stalled due to "nonsensical" decisions involving the Fisheries Act. But Siddon, fisheries minister from 1985 to 1990, urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to resist the pressure.

"The prime minister and some senior cabinet ministers might be well-meaning in trying to move in this direction, but they're misinformed if they think the weight and pressure of industry inconvenience should supersede the importance of the indelible values of our environment," said Siddon, who lives near Penticton. Siddon said the wording would turn fish into a commodity and overlook the importance of the broader ecosystem that, for instance, allows B.C.'s famous salmon resource to thrive.

"It's like saying as long as we have a happy lifestyle and can go to the rec centre and keep fit, it doesn't matter what the air is like that we breath or the water that we drink," Siddon said. "If we want to preserve and protect our fish stocks it's more than a commercial equation."

Siddon also suggested there could be political repercussions in B.C. for the Conservatives, who are waging a verbal war against opponents of the Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline to the West Coast.

The Tories took 21 of 36 seats in the 2011 election in B.C.

"I have no doubt that if people don't do things the right way it will have political consequences."

Siddon said he's trying to arrange a meeting with Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, who didn't deny the reports and cited examples to demonstrate why the Fisheries Act is problematic.

Harper may have already taken a political hit in B.C. due to factors that predate this week's reports about fisheries legislation. A poll by Justason Market Intelligence of 611 British Columbians between February 24 and March 7, which asked respondents how they'd vote in a federal election, had the NDP in the lead at 40 per cent. The Conservatives were next at 30 per cent, followed by the Liberals at 20 per cent and the Green party at eight per cent.

That represents a significant shift from public attitudes expressed in the 2011 election, when Harper's Tories took 46 per cent of the vote compared to 33 per cent for the NDP, just 13 per cent for the Liberals, and eight per cent for the Greens.

The poll is considered to be an accurate reflection of public opinion to within four percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Pollster Barb Justason said the Tories are likely suffering the effects of the robocall controversy, anger over the government's Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, and concern over the government's stand on Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project.

Pierre Gratton, president of the Ottawa-based Mining Association of Canada, said industry doesn't object to efforts to protect habitat that sustains important fisheries. But he said recent court decisions have resulted in "nonsensical" decisions.

One Yukon mining project was temporarily blocked because it affected a "former stream" that had the potential, according to a fisheries officer, to become a fish-bearing stream again, Gratton said.

"We'd like to see some common sense," Gratton said.


Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Former+minister+urges+resist+Fisheries+changes/6318292/story.html#ixzz1pQCWzOtt

chris gadsden

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It’s time to fish or cut bait, Premier Clark!
 
Our esteemed contributor Otto Langer blew it wide open when he, using a leaked document, stated that under the Harper government the protection of fish habitat would no longer be enforced against industry and that it would use an “omnibus bill” to try to sneak it through.
 
An omnibus bill is used to make technical changes to support major legislation. A budget will usually need amendments in various statutes and that’s natural. It might also be used to make clear provisions causing confusion in statutes. It is not intended to bring in substantive changes, thus is not usually debated. When that bill is in fact designed to make a substantial change the government shows its moral turpitude big time.
 
The proposal to take protection of habitat out of the Fisheries Act was especially dishonourable because at first glance it looked as if the government was taking extra care to protect salmon - but the eagle eye of Otto quickly saw it for what it was and now the fat is in the fire.
 
The Vancouver Sun, which has suddenly got religion, got a document through the Access To Information Act which showed that the Tories considered habitat protection as a significant “irritant” for development.
 
The Minister, Keith Ashfield, lamented in the House Wednesday that a jamboree in Saskatchewan last year was almost cancelled because a flooded field contained fish. This speaks volumes for this government – to trivialize the huge assault on habitat in this way shows that the federal government couldn’t care less about BC’s fish.
 
There is no doubt that Ottawa has the Enbridge pipeline in mind.
 
The critical question is one that a grade 1 student would ask: if you don’t protect where fish live what’s the point of the other protections?
 
The answer is, of course, that there’s no point at all. The Enbridge pipeline will cross 1,000 rivers and streams stripped bare of protection. Sensible civic bodies won’t allow building close to rivers and streams while the government will not “inconvenience industry”.
 
Let me tell you with certainty what two premiers, from each major party would have done with this – I refer to Dave Barrett and Bill Bennett, who will be horrified to be named together in the same sentence, such was the acrimony of their relationship.
 
They would have said “BC habitat and the environment in general in BC is not for sale," and then would have had the Attorney to tell them the way to stop it.
 
His first answer would have undoubtedly been - make it clear that BC will use it’s constitutional right to protect it’s coast and ban all oil tankers. This would end the matter since there’s no point transporting oil when it cannot use a BC port and BC’s coast to take it away. Game Over.
 
It would be unwise, of course, not to go for the head of the snake, Enbridge while we’re at it.
 
BC has a shared environment jurisdiction and under this could protect non-migratory fish and place a habitat protection zone around all of the 1000 rivers and streams to be crossed by Enbridge. I have no doubt they could also protect the animals that use the area by setting up preserves.
 
Let’s cut to the chase here: this will no doubt bring lawsuits which I say all the better – by the time the matters make their way slowly and unsteadily through the courts, including appeals on rulings, Enbridge will have to make a move somewhere.
 
Barrett and Bennett would have said we will use our powers to prevent tanker traffic on our coast and, if the Enbridge people get their way, then we will bring the Coast Protection Act in.
 
Why wait for the Enbridge decision?
 
That would delay the start of any litigation on that initiative so that time absorbed in court re: the pipeline would have finally passed and a new court case started. In other words, the cases would not be concurrent but consecutive.
 
Is it ethical to use these tactics?
 
Of course it is – the unethical people are the feds. We would simply be protecting of our glorious province which Premier Clark and her caucus are sworn to do. Buying time is perfectly proper.
 
What should Premier Clark do?
 
Simple – state that the foregoing is the position British Columbia will take and it would be wise both in moral, legal, and fiscal terms to give Enbridge the hook now.
 
Premier Clark is in a lot of trouble and this move could only benefit her because it would leave John Cummins as the only party in favour of the Enbridge/tanker traffic plan and would clearly leave him with only Fraser Institute bred and fed hard right wingers which Clark has lost anyway.
 
I’m willing to bet the ranch that she hasn’t got the guts to stand up to the Feds. Much of this cowardice relates to the money BC has to return to Ottawa under the bungled HST fiasco.
 
At this point we must go after the snake's head, thus a very good time to demand protection of the province by our federal Tory MPs - to remind them and demand that they represent our interests not those of Enbridge.
 
As a bit of assistance - here they are:
Ed Fast Abbotsford ed@edfast.cat.
Dick Harris - Cariboo - Prince George Harris.R@parl.gc.ca.
Mark Strahl - Chilliwack - Fraser Canyon mark.strahl@parl.gc.ca.
Kerry Lynne Findlay - Delta - Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne.Findlay@parl.gc.ca
Nina Grewal - Fleetwood - Port Kells Grewal.N@parl.gc.ca
Cathy McLeod - Kamloops - Thompson - Cariboo McLeod.C@parl.gc.ca
Ron Cannan - Kelowna - Lake Country ron.cannan@parl.gc.ca
David Wilks - Kootenay - Columbia David.wilks@parl.gc.ca
Mark Warawa - Langley Warawa.M@parl.gc.ca
James Lunney - Nanaimo - Alberni Lunney.J@parl.gc.ca
Andrew Saxton - North Vancouver Saxton.A@parl.gc.ca
Dan Albas - Okanagan - Coquihalla http://www.danalbas.com/contact-dan.html
Colin Mayes - Okanagan - Shuswap Mayes.C@parl.gc.ca
Randy Kamp - Pitt Meadows - Maple Ridge - Mission Kamp.R@parl.gc.ca
James Moore - Port Moody - Westwood - Port Coquitlam Moore.J@parl.gc.ca.
Bob Zimmer - Prince George - Peace River Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca
Alice Wong - Richmond Wong.A@parl.gc.ca
Russ Hiebert - South Surrey - White Rock - Cloverdale Info@RussHiebert.ca
John Duncan - Vancouver Island North Duncan.J@parl.gc.ca
Wai Young - Vancouver South info@waiyoung.caohn
Weston - West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country Weston.J@parl.gc.caview it.
 
 

StillAqua

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Pierre Gratton, president of the Ottawa-based Mining Association of Canada, said industry doesn't object to efforts to protect habitat that sustains important fisheries. But he said recent court decisions have resulted in "nonsensical" decisions.

One Yukon mining project was temporarily blocked because it affected a "former stream" that had the potential, according to a fisheries officer, to become a fish-bearing stream again, Gratton said.

"We'd like to see some common sense," Gratton said.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Former+minister+urges+resist+Fisheries+changes/6318292/story.html#ixzz1pQCWzOtt

Nonsensical??  Sounds they could be talking about a side-channel or seasonal tributary that provides critical overwintering habitat and high-water flood refuge for juvenile Chinook. Industry doesn't get it.....or doesn't want to get it.
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Sandman

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totally agree,

Harper has taken Canada and Canadians back decades in what was gained by environmental legislation. All this will do is perpetuate the massive right to left swings and force somewhat moderates to become extreme in their views. He's Totally out of control ...oops totally under control by industry.

How did he get in again?


Where to begin...he got in (with a majority government) after supporters sent "robocalls" to voters directing them to non existing poll stations.  If that wasn't bad enough, he got in (with a majority government) after 6 in every 10 Canadians that DID find a polling station voted AGAINST him.  Now we have to put up with his radical agenda for 4 years.
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Not all those who wander are lost

alwaysfishn

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Where to begin...he got in (with a majority government) after supporters sent "robocalls" to voters directing them to non existing poll stations.  If that wasn't bad enough, he got in (with a majority government) after 6 in every 10 Canadians that DID find a polling station voted AGAINST him.  Now we have to put up with his radical agenda for 4 years.


Politics is about picking the best out of a basket of politicians. While you may complain about Harper, if the NDP or the Liberals had of gotten in you would have a much worse situation. In a time that the world is an economic disaster, the need for a Canadian government that is financially responsible is essential. Fortunately in Harper we have the best leader for the current economy.

It's always easy to look on the other side of the fence and think that the grass is greener..... 
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Disclosure:  This post has not been approved by the feedlot boys, therefore will likely be found to contain errors and statements that are out of context. :-[

shuswapsteve

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Nonsensical??  Sounds they could be talking about a side-channel or seasonal tributary that provides critical overwintering habitat and high-water flood refuge for juvenile Chinook. Industry doesn't get it.....or doesn't want to get it.

Many of these individuals (including many landowner that have property near water) simply do not understand the value of fish habitat for fish.  Unfortunately StillAqua, many of these people are not fish people and do not look at the whole picture including spawning, rearing and overwintering habitat.  The Act is seen as an inconvienence.

I believe DFO staff does their best to work with landowners to avoid prosecution under the Fisheries Act, but the amount of referrals goes up and up and staff fall further behind in investigating them.  With continuous cut-backs to the department, the job is even more difficult now.  Some staff are either going to lose their jobs or their positions will not be filled when they retire.  Now...add any changes to the Fisheries Act and those field staff are being cut-off at the legs.  In Saskatchewan, field staff likely had good reason for what they did.  It is frustrating when the guy you would hope would be in your corner (i.e. the Minister) is actually undermining you the whole time.
 
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