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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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