1 Fisheries Act | West Coast Environmental Law

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Fisheries Act

Back to schools: Canada’s fish happy with new report, look forward to amended law

13 March, 2017

Fish across Canada breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the top recommendation from the Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries and Oceans’ report reviewing the Fisheries Act: to reinstate strong habitat protection for fish.

Fish across Canada breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the top recommendation from the Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries and Oceans’ report reviewing the Fisheries Act: to reinstate strong habitat protection for fish.

Sign the Mount Polley petition to demand accountability

9 March, 2017

MiningWatch needs your help to ensure accountability for the Mount Polley tailings pond disaster. In late 2016 the mining watchdog launched a private prosecution (with the help of our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund), but the federal government is now trying to stay the charges. You can help by signing this petition asking Prime Minister Trudeau, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, and Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc to make sure the prosecution proceeds.

 

The “other” Bill C-38 – Fish habitat redux and lessons for today

24 November, 2016

Many Canadians who care about nature, democracy and Indigenous rights will recognize the name Bill C-38 – the omnibus budget bill from 2012 that dramatically weakened environmental protection under federal laws such as the Fisheries Act.

But did you know that Parliament debated another Bill C-38 almost forty years ago, led by the father of our current Fisheries Minister? The debates around this important bill from 1977 are presciently relevant today.

Trout swimming

Parliamentary debates from 1977 contain important lessons about the importance of safeguarding fish habitat in Canada. Photo: Jon Nelson.

Your guide to Canada’s environmental law reviews

10 November, 2016

In June 2016, the government announced a sweeping review of federal environmental laws – including Canada's environmental assessment (EA) law and processes, the Fisheries Act, Navigation Protection Act, and National Energy Board. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help shape Canada’s environmental laws and to contribute to decisions that affect land, air, water and the climate.

We’ve put together a set of online resources to help you understand these important federal reviews, including key information about timelines, law reform priorities and ways you can get involved.

In June 2016, the government announced a sweeping review of federal environmental laws – including Canada's environmental assessment (EA) law and processes, the Fisheries Act, Navigation Protection Act, and National Energy Board. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help shape Canada’s environmental laws and to contribute to decisions that affect land, air, water and the climate.

Mount Polley Mine private prosecution: Stepping up to demand accountability

25 October, 2016

In the face of a disaster like the Mount Polley mine disaster, swift action is essential to send a message to industry that breaking environmental laws will not be tolerated. In this case, when the government failed to act in a timely manner, MiningWatch Canada brought a private prosecution to enforce Canada’s environmental laws. West Coast Environmental Law’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund provided financial support for this important legal action.

Filing charges at the Provincial Court in Williams Lake, BC (Photo: Robert Moberg).

Faith restored? Kinder Morgan Ministerial Panel consultation wraps up

20 October, 2016

The report from the Ministerial Panel on Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline project is expected on November 1, 2016. This report will be considered by Federal Cabinet in its upcoming decision on the project, along with the upstream greenhouse gas analysis, the flawed National Energy Board report, and any further information arising from First Nations consultation.

The process moved quickly and its summer meetings were not without controversy, including allegations of conflict of interest and imposition of a tight timeline without input from or adequate notice to First Nations. The Panel also seemed ill-prepared to deal with the breadth and depth of participants.

What remains to be seen is how the Ministerial Panel will deal with the tens of thousands of messages and questionnaire responses in its final report- much of which it tried to reject arbitrarily. Beyond that, how Prime Minister Trudeau will incorporate all of this information into his decision in December. Will he maintain his position that “only communities grant permission?” Or will he approve the project in the face of strong opposition?

A large crowd gathered inside and outside the Kinder Morgan Summer meetings in Vancouver. Photos: Eugene Kung

A Review of the Review of Reviews: A Participants’ Guide to the Federal EA Review

19 October, 2016

In mid-September, an expert panel appointed by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the Panel) launched a public review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes (the EA Review). While the Panel and its secretariat have attempted to broadcast how the public and Indigenous groups can participate in the EA Review, many people remain either unaware of it or uncertain whether or how to be involved.

If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place. 


This fall, Canadians are invited to take part in a public review of federal environmental assessment processes.
Photo: Jamie McCaffrey

When wild salmon win – toward a renewed Fisheries Act?

18 October, 2016

The Fisheries Act failed to protect an important BC coastal salmon habitat. It’s time to renew the legislation.


Young salmon rearing in the Skeena River estuary. (Photo: Tavish Campbell)

Catching up with science: Salmon biodiversity and Aboriginal fisheries rights in BC

3 August, 2016

At West Coast Environmental Law, we are passionate about collaboration and integrating science with law. When new, ground-breaking studies are published in the scientific world, it presents a unique opportunity to identify the implications this might have on shaping and influencing laws.

A recent study, “Species and population diversity in Pacific salmon fisheries underpin Indigenous food security” published by SFU researchers Holly Nesbitt and Dr. Jonathan Moore, is a fantastic example.

At West Coast Environmental Law, we are passionate about collaboration and integrating science with law. When new, ground-breaking studies are published in the scientific world, it presents a unique opportunity to identify the implications this might have on shaping and influencing laws.

Why navigation protection is also environmental protection

5 July, 2016

The Canadian government has announced that the House Standing Committee on Transportation will soon be starting its review of the Navigation Protection Act.

Unfortunately, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, in announcing the review, downplayed expectations that the government would restore lost environmental protections to a wide range of rivers and endorsed the previous government’s views that the purpose of the act is to protect navigation, and not navigable waters. That’s contrary to what the Liberal Party of Canada promised in the last election.

Canadians who were expecting better protection for the 99% of lakes and rivers that lost their legal protection in 2012 will want to let the government know their views.

 

The Canadian government has announced that the House Standing Committee on Transportation will soon be starting its review of the Navigation Protection Act.

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