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Restoring Fish Habitat Protection


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Recently received this request to help push the Trudeau government a little faster in restoring fish habitat protection legislation to the Fisheries Act and am passing it on for your consideration and possible action




When Canadians elected a new federal government last October, we were thrilled to see strong commitments from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to rebuild the nation’s environmental laws. Right now, we have an important opportunity to call on the government to get moving on these commitments – starting with the law that protects Canada’s fish.

Tell the federal government: You can’t protect fish without protecting habitat.

Back in 2012 when the federal government passed omnibus budget bills, it cut a number of pieces of environmental legislation and substantially weakened fish habitat protection in the federal
Fisheries Act. This change was made with no public participation, respect for Indigenous rights, or scientific evidence.

Quite simply, you can’t protect fish without protecting habitat.

Fortunately, federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo’s mandate letter1 calls on him to “restore lost protections and introduce modern safeguards” into the
Fisheries Act. But we haven’t seen concrete action yet.

We’re calling on Minister Tootoo and the Canadian government to amend the Act immediately to reinstate strong fish habitat protection and move forward with engagement on other changes needed to enhance stewardship and ensure the long-term sustainability of
Canada’s fisheries and vibrant aquatic ecosystems.

Please join Canadians across the country in supporting this call.

Sign the petition!

To read a full set of recommendations on how Minister Tootoo can modernize and strengthen the Fisheries Act, see“Scaling up the Fisheries Act: Restoring lost protections and incorporating modern safeguards.” 2

Thank you,

West Coast Environmental Law, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, Greenpeace Canada, Pembina Institute, David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Ecology Action Centre, Équiterre, Sierra Club Canada Foundation and Nature Canada


1. “Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Mandate Letter.” Prime Minister of Canada, 13 Nov 2015. http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-fisheries-oceans-and-canadian-coast-guard-mandate-letter

2. “Scaling up the Fisheries Act: Restoring lost protections and incorporating modern safeguards.” West Coast Environmental Law, 24 Mar 2016.http://wcel.org/sites/default/files/publications/ScalingUpTheFisheriesAct.pdf

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