Why is CPAWS speaking out? Reason No. 2: We value our freshwater and oceans.
Canada boasts one of the largest ocean territories of any country in the world and holds 7% of all global freshwater resources in our wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams. From the enormous whales that frequent our coastal waters to the tiniest fish found in the shallow bays of our lakes and rivers, every living part of an aquatic ecosystem is dependent upon the overall health of its habitat to survive.
The federal Fisheries Act, until now one of the strongest pieces of environmental legislation in Canada, will be undergoing some fairly significant changes once Bill C-38 to implement the 2012 federal budget has been adopted. The Act currently restricts the approval of any activity causing the harmful alteration, disruption, or deletion of fish habitat. Under the proposed changes, the Act will now prohibit work which results in “serious harm to fish that are part of a commercial, recreational or aboriginal fishery, or to fish that support such a fishery” and only offers protection against damage or disruption to fish habitat if it is permanent.
Changing the provisions for the protection of habitat opens the door to new developments in areas previously protected under the Act, and makes it easier for industry to pollute our waterways with little to no legal recourse.
We value our freshwater and oceans and the myriad species they nurture - including humans! It is irresponsible to assume that we can alter fish habitat without affecting fish and potentially the quality of water upon which we all rely for life.
Join us on June 4th in speaking out for nature. Visit www.blackoutspeakout.ca to learn more.