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Lance Taylor wrote:


> Scott,


> Just like in the movie Nemo - "all drains lead to the ocean!" =)


> I beleive it has something to do with "navigable waters". Since all waters lead to the ocean, they has say.


> Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.


> Lance



Please correct me if my info is wrong...


DFO is only authorized to deal with federal waters that include the oceans and waters with ocean migrating fish (like salmon and steelhead). How would that have anything to do with the Oldman River?


Moving a log and moving fish are two different departments...not that some private companies/individuals are willing to distinguish.


Scott Rowan

Victoria, BC





From: Blake


Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2005 7:01 AM

Subject: FW: DFO's secret plans to reduce protection of fish habitat




The Fisheries Act is the legal club that the Friends of the Oldman used to force the federal government to accept its ultimate responsibility for fish, and just as importantly, for fish habitat. In the years that followed the Supreme Court decision, the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans has expanded it's presence in the interior of the country and very slowly the Fisheries Act has become something that governments and industries have to consider in their day to day operations, as well as their future plans.


The great thing about the Fisheries Act is that it protects a lot more than fish. The protection of fish habitats, or at least the monitoring and regulation of activities that affect fish habitats, also protects the function of local watersheds. Often the Fisheries Act is the only legislation that requires developers to consider the cumulative effects of their projects. Needless to say, certain interests can find it frustrating when seemingly insignificant populations of fish force their projects back to the drawing board.


Martha Kostuch has been following this process for over twenty years, and I doubt if anyone inside government or the legal profession is more familiar with it. If she's worried, so am I.

Tony Blake

Red Deer, Alberta





----- Original Message -----

From: Martha Kostuch

To: Martha Kostuch

Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 7:43 AM

Subject: DFO's secret plans to reduce protection of fish habitat


Action Alert re: Protection of Fish Habitat




The Fisheries Act is one of the strongest and most important environmental acts in Canada. As you can see from the media release which follows this Action Alert, DFO is planning to decrease protection of fish habitat.




What can you do?




1. Distribute this media release or do your own media release.


2. Call, write, fax, email or meet with members of Parliament and the Senate and ask them to oppose both the proposed reduction in funding for protection of fish habitat and the Modernizing Compliance Initiative which would result in the cutting of 80 Fishery Officers and 42 Habitat Management Positions.


3. Ask to be consulted about any proposed changes related to fish habitat protection and about any proposed changes to the Fisheries Act. (Rumors are that a new Fisheries Act is going to be tabled in the fall.)




The Friends of the Oldman River


Media Release


Department of Fisheries and Oceans Secretly Develops Plans to Reduce Protection of Fish Habitat in Canada



May 9, 2005




According to leaked documents sent anonymously to Martha Kostuch, Vice-President of the Friends of the Oldman River, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has secretly developed plans to reduce protection of fish habitat.




The memo received by Martha Kostuch states, “The Modernizing Compliance Initiative was announced after the 2005 Federal Budget. It came as the result of an expenditure review exercise that was carried out in complete secrecy from staff, unions and the Canadian Public. In fact the department is still trying to quietly undertake this initiative, reducing both the level of service to Canadians and the level of protection of the aquatic environment. This is clear when one compares the information provided to staff on the internal Intranet site to the information provided to the pubic on DFO’s Internet site.”




Under the Modernizing Compliance Initiative, DFO is planning to cut 80 Fishery Officer positions and 42 Habitat Management positions. DFO plans to help offset the reductions of staff by the creation of 40 new habitat stewardship and monitoring officers’ positions. The Fisheries Act has no provision for such positions and provides no authority for them to conduct inspections, to respond to complaints or to enforce the Fisheries Act.




Funding for fish habitat protection will be cut by $2.3 million in 2005 if the Federal budget is passed with further cuts to a total of $7 million a year by 2007.




The Interim Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fish Habitat states: “It would be a serious mistake if the Department’s fish habitat program were to be adversely affected by an internal reallocation. Moreover, the Committee strongly believes that the DFO needs additional funding.”




In its submission to the Senate Committee, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation drew the Committee’s attention to the fact that of the 39 submissions received by the CEC as of June 6, 2003, 13 submissions were relevant to Canada – eight of which were on the subject of enforcing the Fisheries Act.




The 2002 Annual Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development which oversees the Auditor General’s environmental petitions process noted that:




* protecting fish and fish habitat had been the most dominant concern of petitioners during the first five and a half of the petitions process;

* nearly one half of environmental petitions had touched on fish and fish habitat or related issues; and

* in 2002, the DFO continued to be one of the most petitioned federal departments.




“It is wrong for DFO to be reducing protection of fish habitat in Canada,” said Martha Kostuch. “The Government of Canada should increase, not decrease, funding for fish habitat protection as recommended by the Senate Committee. In addition, DFO should increase, not decrease, enforcement of the Fisheries Act.”




* 30 *




For more information contact Martha Kostuch – 403-845-4667.

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Patti or Kerry Brewin wrote:


>Hi Lance,


>You would have been right about 12-18 months ago. DFO/Coast Guard were

>responsible for e Navigable Waters Protection Act, but responsibility for

>the NWPA, and most of the staff that administered it, were transferred to

>Transport Canada a little while back.




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Regardless of their 'actual' area of reponsibility - that's 122 concerned individuals who are no longer on DFO waters, and yet another decision that slid through under the radar.



This really pisses me off.


I think it's time to require a ratified vote for ANY change to Provincial or Federal governmental structure. Just another move by a gov't I can't trust.


Saddest - I can't trust the opposition. So... Bleackley - can you please run... I'll vote for you.

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DFO has a funny mandate. One of its most powerful authorities comes under the Fisheries Act, which says:


35. (1) No person shall carry on any work or undertaking that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.


Fish habitat is not limited to the ocean - it is essentially any place where there are, or may be, fish. They are not really tasked with protection of the fish themselves here, just the habitat. The fish would be a provincial resource.


In practice, DFO is fairly incosistent on where they spend their resources. While they have broad powers to protect fish habitat in inland waters, they often ignore this aspect for the more headline-grabbing offshore fisheries and habitat issues.


Jim Fox

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