Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Open season on fish habitat

The federal Fisheries Act hasn’t exactly done the job of protecting fish (especially off the East Coast).

Now fish habitat is on the line.

Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield issued a news release Tuesday confirming what fishery experts have warned of for weeks – the Harper administration is set to gut the Act so that Ottawa would be responsible for fish, but not their surrounding habitat.

Opponents say excluding the word "habitat" would kneecap the act (a move said to be driven by government’s agenda to accelerate mining and oil-sands projects), to the point that 625 Canadian scientists came together recently to demand that the Harper administration abandon its plans.
The Fisheries Act states that “no person shall carry out any work or undertaking that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.”
Conservatives changes would make it OK to destroy waterways provided that it does not “result in an adverse effect on a fish of economic, cultural or ecological value.”
It’s been said that Canada is on the way to losing its soul under the Harper administration.
But even the land and sea may be unrecognizable when he’s finished with it.

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