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Tell the Prime Minister - Fish need legal protection

June 17, 2013

One year ago (June 18th, 2012), in an unprecedented attack on nature and democracy, Canada passed a far-reaching omnibus bill that repealed or weakened most of Canada’s foundational environmental laws. Among the most controversial elements of Bill C-38 was the decision to “take the guts out” of the Fisheries Act by abandoning long-standing legal protections for fish habitat –the ecosystems that sustain our iconic salmon and other species – and replacing them with weaker rules that prohibit only “serious harm to fish.”

There is still time to stop these changes from coming into force. Write to the Prime Minister today.

A year ago people from every corner of our nation stood up for our lakes, rivers and fish: The outcry and concern was so great that the federal government has never implemented its planned changes to the Fisheries Act to weaken fish habitat protection. All this could change in a few weeks if we don’t speak out now. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has indicated that as soon as July existing protections for fish habitat could be repealed and replaced by the new weaker rules.

Please tell the federal government to maintain strong legal protection for fish and their habitat today.

When it was ramming through Bill C-38, the federal government didn’t count on the dedication of Canadians to our waters and fish and our right to participate in decisions about the environment that affect our families and communities. Over 600 organizations representing millions of Canadians participated in a cross-Canada day of action. And four former fisheries ministers from BC, who served in federal cabinets of both Progressive Conservative and Liberal governments wrote to the Prime Minister expressing alarm that the continued survival of iconic species like migratory salmon and steelhead “would be endangered” if the provisions of Bill C-38 were brought into force.

While many environmental protections were lost through Bill C-38 there is still a chance for fish if we can stop changes to the Fisheries Act from coming into force. Please take a moment to make your voice heard. Send a letter to the Prime Minister today.

By Jessica Clogg, Executive Director and Senior Counsel