Letter to Harper - Changes to the Fisheries Act

March 25, 2012


The membership of the Steelhead Society of B.C. (SSBC) is deeply concerned regarding rumours of proposed changes to the federal Fisheries Act as outlined in various media of late. It is the SSBC’s understanding that such changes may significantly downgrade habitat provisions of Section 35(1) of the Act and, further, may be attached to the May 29th 2012 budget bill.

The March 16th 2012 statement from federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Ashfield (at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/statement-declarations/2012/20120316-eng.htm) does little to allay the SSBC’s concerns and states that while no decision has yet been made, also imply that changes are, in fact, under consideration.

Since formation in 1970, the SSBC has been deeply involved in the restoration and protection of fisheries habitat in British Columbia. SSBC volunteers have spent countless hours fundraising for fisheries habitat and provided willing “hands on” for in-stream rehabilitation, important work that continue to this day.

The SSBC is not aware of any public consultation mechanism in place that has provided advice to government regarding significant change to the Fisheries Act, nor is the SSBC aware of any scientific imperative to enable such drastic change. Further, the SSBC would encourage a more proactive use of the existing Fisheries Act rather than reactive as so often appears to be the case.

The SSBC therefore request that you maintain current wording the Fisheries Act. 

Yours sincerely,  Brian Braidwood President

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