Vancouver Sun: Minister admits Fisheries Act changes could help speed project approvals

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Following up government’s announcement of upcoming changes to the Fisheries Act, Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield states, “We want to adopt a sensible and practical approach to managing real and significant threats to fisheries and the

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habitat that supports them while minimizing the restrictions on routine, everyday activities that have little to no impact on the productivity of Canada’s fisheries,” in the Vancouver Sun article Minister admits Fisheries Act changes could help speed project approvals. The article explains that “Ashfield’s confirmation of plans to rewrite the legislation follows last week’s sweeping government proposal to overhaul Canada’s environmental assessment review system to speed up federal approval of major projects and give provincial governments greater say over decisions.”

Jessica Clogg, senior counsel at West Coast Environmental Law, states, “We know from experience whose interests are favoured when the federal government uses legislation to pick and choose what fish habitat gets protection – the legalized use of fish lakes as tailings ponds, and new rules that will recklessly fast track megaprojects that could result in devastation of fish habitat. Today’s announcements are peppered with new loopholes and exemptions that come at the expense of fish and those whose livelihoods and cultures rely on healthy fish habitat.”

For more information and recent media coverage on proposed Fisheries Act changes see Watershed Watch’s updates Watershed Watch Executive Director Comments on Proposed Fisheries Act Changes in Vancouver Sun and Fish habitat at risk from proposed changes to Fisheries Act (updated).

 

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