Keep Protection of Habitat in the Canada Fisheries Act!

  • by: Douglas Channel Watch
  • recipient: Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada

This remains an URGENT issue! Signatures and comments gathered prior to March 29th have been delivered to the target. Please continue to sign and share, the more signatures, the louder our collective voice. Thank you!

The federal conservative government is proposing to eliminate fish habitat protection measures from the Fisheries Act! This is a systematic dismantling of fundamental environmental protection,and will allow the government to push through large projects that have clear and imminent negative impact on fish bearing waterways all acrossCanada (eg. Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal). This change will not only harm fish and fish habitat but it will threaten commercial and sport fisheries, ecotourism and our iconic salmon.

A retired federal government aquatic ecologist, Otto Langer has disclosed leaked information about the conservative’s plan to sneak severe changes to the Fisheries Act through the omnibus budget bill on March 29, 2012.These changes, if imposed, will be done with zero public consultation and zero consultation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

An excerpt from Langer’s letter:

``The government is totally re-writing the habitat protection provisions of Section 35(1) so as to remove habitat protection out of the Fisheries Act. This is a serious situation and will put Canada back to where we were in the pre-1976 period where Canada had no laws to protect fish habitat and no way to monitor the great industrial expansion that occurred in Canada with the consequential loss of major fish habitat all across Canada.`

We cannot let this happen! Sign this petition to tell Keith Ashfield, Minister of the Fisheries and Oceans, that you demand fish habitat protection remains an integral and key provision in the Fisheries Act and as citizen of this country, you insist on a democratic process involving all stakeholders prior to any future changes to this act.

This is very urgent. The more signatures, the louder our collective voice! Please share widely.

Thank you.

More information:

To view Biologist Otto Langer`s full 3 page letter, visit:

We the undersigned,

Thank you for taking the time to read this empowered opinion and subsequent demand from your fellow Canadians.

We respectfully insist that Protection of Habitat remains an integral and key part of the Canada Fisheries Act. It is not acceptable, nor democratic to sneak changes to this or any other Canadian law, through the omnibus budget bill on March 29, 2012.

It is our belief that the notion of this major omission to the Fisheries Act is a sign of strategic dismantling of key environmental law so that the government can push large industrial projects (eg. Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project)  through with no regard for environmental review, assessment or the democratic right of all Canadians to be involved in the consultation process prior to project approval. This is completely unacceptable and is at odds with the democratic rights of Canadians, and the protection and stewardship of our natural heritage, resources and future health and welfare for generations to come.

We stand in solidarity that the removal of fish habitat protection provisions from the Canada Fisheries Act should not be considered, now or at any point in the future. Such elimination would allow devastating and lasting impacts to Canadian fish resources and waterways for generations to come. We demand that, prior to any and all changes to this act, a democratic statutory review take place in such a way that it receives the scientific and expert input as well as First Nations and public involvement that it deserves.

It is our sincere hope and expectation, that these concerns and demands made by your fellow citizens in this great, democratic country will be met with a just action and response.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

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