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Dear Mr. Manchester,

Thank you for your e-mail.

A former Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) employee is alleging that the government is planning onerous changes to the Fisheries Act affecting fish habitat. While I understand the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is reviewing the legislation, as all departments do from time to time, I can assure you that no decisions have been made at this time.

Furthermore, changes to the Act must be tabled in Parliament through legislation and go through the normal process of review including a thorough analysis by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

It is my belief that sound fisheries legislation must protect fish habitats while ensuring that the law is applied as intended. Currently, the overzealous application of the law by Fisheries officials is resulting in fisheries policies being applied well beyond what's necessary to protect fish and fish habitat.
For instance:

Last year in Saskatchewan, Jamboree was nearly cancelled after newly flooded fields were deemed fish habitat by fisheries officials. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2011/06/28/sk-fishing-officials-1106.html)

In Richelieu, Fisheries officials' overzealous application of the rules blocked a farmer from draining his flooded property. (http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/27/floodedout-farmer-needs-permit-to-remove-fish)

The City of Abbotsford, which maintains flood control ditches, can’t meet its legal obligations to clear waterways due to DFO rules. (Abbotsford Times, December 16, 2003)

In our own riding of Kelowna-Lake Country, attempts to rebuild the Okanagan Safe Harbour in Lake Country has run into difficulties because of onerous fish habitat requirements.

Let me assure you that your concerns are duly noted. However, I would ask that you reserve your judgement on this issue until we know whether or not amendments will be tabled. If in fact such amendments to the Act are tabled, I can assure you I will review the legislation thoroughly to ensure that fish habitats are protected.
I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and opinions with me. Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss issues concerning the federal government.
Sincerely,

Ron Cannan, MP
Kelowna - Lake Country
“Your Kelowna – Lake Country voice in Ottawa”(250) 470-5075 (Constituency Office in Capri Mall) (613) 992-7006 (Parliament Hill Office)
www.cannan.ca

Here's a link to an on-line petition too:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/124/389/037/keep-protection-of-habitat-in-the-canada-fisheries-act/
 

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on·er·ous/ˈōnərəs/


Adjective:
1. (of a task, duty, or responsibility) Involving a burdensome amount of effort and difficulty.
2. Involving heavy obligations.
Synonyms:burdensome - heavy - weighty - difficult - laborious

Interesting...I understand what the honerable member and his gov't is trying to say, but I wonder if he does...?

Was it too onerous a task to look up the meaning of a word before using it to try to simultaneously describe the changes and the justification for making them?

Or is it just that planning is onerous...? Maybe its onerous to have to deal with the uproar now that word has gotten out...?

Perhaps a synomym would have been useful? Or maybe he was just too "overzealous" in his use of the word "onerous"...

It's almost like he just learned the word for him to use it so gratuitously in the first sentence to describe alleged gov't plans to change the act, and then again also to describe the burden of observing fish habitat requirements. Was this just some word he noticed in a "tow the party line" memo he recieved?

Truly must be a burden to have to consider fish habitat before building a harbour or marina...let's just do away with the whole protection thing altogether shall we? It's too much trouble anyways...build the harbour, screw meeting those onerous fish habitat protection requirements! ::)

What really bothers me is that this honerable mp personally "will review the legislation thoroughly to ensure that fish habitats are protected"...

Should we feel reassured by that? and...is he actually qualified and have a strong enough scientific background to review and assess the requirements for adequate fish habitat protection? :eek:

Furthermore, given this letter and what it reveals about him, is he actually qualified to even represent his constituency, or did he just get too much sun recently...?
 
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