Watershed Watch Comments on Fisheries Act Changes and the Cohen Inquiry in the Vancouver Sun

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Sockeye SwimmingWatershed Watch Executive Director, Craig Orr, states that Bill C-38 is a “game-changer” that will necessarily impact the work of the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the decline of Fraser sockeye, in the Vancouver Sun article Fisheries Act overhaul prompts scramble at Cohen Commission.

Orr said,  “I think this act does change how Cohen must view the ability of the federal government to effectively protect fish habitat in B.C. and across Canada and thus strikes at the heart of what this federal inquiry is trying to sort out.”

The article goes on to explain that the “current law prohibits Canadians from any activity “that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.” The proposed new wording is far more narrow and focuses on economic fisheries, banning “serious harm to fish that are part of a commercial, recreational or aboriginal fishery, or to fish that support such a fishery.  The government defines “serious harm” as “the death of fish or any permanent alteration to, or destruction of, fish habitat.””

For more information on the Cohen Inquiry, see our Fraser Sockeye Inquiry page and our Salmon Leaks series.


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