Keep fish habitat protection explicit in Canada’s Fisheries Act

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Demand accountability instead of empty words

If you take away fish habitat protection, how do you protect fish?

 

Fish need habitat to survive. And healthy fish populations reflect healthy ecosystems, which benefit all Canadians.

 These truths are obvious. But if draft changes to Canada’s Fisheries Act are accepted as part of the upcoming Omnibus Budget Bill, fish habitat would no longer have the level of federal protection it has now.

 The Fisheries Act now allows the Fisheries Minister to authorize destruction of fish habitat, but only after an Environmental Assessment has been done. 

This week, Canada’s Fisheries Act could be compromised.

 

On March 29, the Federal Conservative’s Budget Omnibus Bill is expected to come before Parliament.

On March 29, the Federal Conservative’s Budget Omnibus Bill is expected to come before Parliament.

Leaked information [link to Otto’s press release] suggests changes to the Fisheries Act may be tacked onto this bill.

The biggest change?

Removing fish habitat protection.

What’s the big deal?

To survive, fish need habitat. And so do the countless creatures that rely on fish, including bear, eagle, otter and heron.

Proposed changes could have negative consequences for lakes and streams that are targeted for private power projects, mine tailings and pipeline developments.

The Fisheries Act needs to protect fish habitat without compromise.

What can we do about it?

Last week, the BC Wildlife Federation, with 38,000 members, came out strongly against the proposed changes.

Other groups are following suit, as are individuals across Canada.

We want to give you the opportunity to write to the Federal government if you feel Canadians should have a say in what, if any, changes are made to Canada’s oldest legislation, the Fisheries Act.

We believe that any changes to the Federal Fisheries Act, specifically to the habitat protection aspects such as Section 35(1), must have full public consultation before being made.

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Thank you for staying alert.

We value habitat. We know our future security depends on healthy ecosystems, and we want to see Federal protection for fish habitat in our streams, lakes, wetlands and watersheds.

We need to stay alert and to speak out.

Please take a moment today to send your thoughts to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

For the wild,

The Wildsight Team