Canadian Fisheries Act Changes to Eliminate Protection of Fish Habitat a Boon to Oil and Mining Interests

Fish habitat will no longer be protected in Canada under a new law from the federal government.  Fish habitat had been defined as spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply and migration areas on which fish depend directly or indirectly in order to carry out their life processes. The new bill will remove references to fish habitat altogether.

"This is about the fast-tracking of the Conservatives' agenda for pipeline projects,” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said, "shifting protection only to fish of economic value ignores that many fish key to an ecosystem actually do spawn in ditches or flooded fields." She pointed out that many important waterways contain fish eaten by seabirds, bears and other animals that don't directly benefit the recreational, commercial or aboriginal fisheries.

Environmental lawyers at the West Coast Environmental Law Association said the effect of the new Fisheries Act changes would be to exempt many major developments from fisheries review. "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," Jessica Clogg, the group's senior counsel, said in a statement. "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."

Why would they do it? Why, in the face of nearly unanimous opposition by native groups, environmental experts, legal advisers and the general public would Harpo's Conservative government jump into another PR quagmire? Money honey. These, and all their brethren, folks are deluded fundamentalist neo-cons. They believe, they have the "God" given right to dominion over everything. Everything, from the insane respective of a christian fundamentalist, has been created to serve the true believers.