Outgoing MP Dan Ruimy shows Prime Minister Justin Trudeau his report on an Alouette Lake fish ladder. (Contributed)

Alouette fish ladder on Trudeau’s radar: Ruimy

Outgoing MP handed Prime Minister a report on safe passage through Maple Ridge dam

Outgoing MP Dan Ruimy put the Alouette Lake fish ladder on the Liberal government’s radar.

Ruimy and his team prepared a 20-page report and handed it to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It explains the need for facilities to allow spawning salmon to pass the Hydro dam and return to Alouette Lake. Ruimy said the federal government should both provide funding and take a leadership role.

His replacement, Conservative MP elect Marc Dalton, said he will continue to champion the issue in Ottawa.

Ruimy said his report also went to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and it calls for amendments in the Fisheries Act to help protect salmon stocks.

He is hopeful Hydro can be convinced to install the fish ladder, which he estimates would cost $5 million, if the power company lowers the water level in Alouette Lake, potentially starting this summer, to do seismic upgrades on its dam facilities.

He said the fish ladders should have been built at the same time as the dams.

“This, to me, would be the ideal time to put in safe passage,” said Ruimy, echoing the call from local conservation group Allouette River Management Society (ARMS) to have the long-wanted ladder built.

Ruimy said group president Cheryl Ashlie, ARMS as a whole and the Watershed Watch Salmon Society are all advocates for a new ladder.

“This is something I didn’t want to let go of,” said Ruimy, who lost his seat in Monday’s election. “My goal was to find a way that we can all be at the table.”

Ruimy said federal funding is available for these types of initiatives, to share the burden with Hydro. However, senior government cannot force Hydro to apply for the funding.

Ruimy spoke to Trudeau about the issue when he gave the PM the report. He also pushed the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which is responsible for protecting salmon stocks, to get involved.

He is aware that Hydro has said the ladder will not be part of its work this summer.

“It’s extremely disappointing, because in the long run it’s so beneficial. Our rivers used to be teeming with salmon – five different species…”

“You have to consider the ramifications of not doing these things.”

Ruimy said there is research on the overwhelming benefits of spawning salmon. They feed animals, enhance biodiversity and improve habitat throughout the watershed.

“We underestimate the impact that little things can have on the environment.”

Dalton said he is aware of the issue, has advocated for safe passage in his role as a provincial MLA, and visited a fish ladders that was built on Vancouver Island. He is also aware that ARMS is trucking limited amounts of salmon past the Alouette dam.

“I’m all for getting a ladder there, but how do we get funding?” he asked.

“We would certainly support it.”


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: New procedures to address council are a big concern

Donna Clay says asking public to wait until end of meetings to raise questions is inpractical

Ridge Meadows house leage softball sign-up this Thursday

Players have the option to register in-person or online

Ridge Meadows Hospice Society there for seniors dealing with grief and loss

Discussion on grief and loss to take place at the Maple Ridge Public Library

Cyclist hit Monday in Maple Ridge

Collision on Dewdney Trunk Road, minor injuries

BREAKING: Body found in Maple Ridge identified as Coquitlam soccer player

Edi Bogere-Nyigwo was last seen leaving his Coquitlam home on Dec. 27

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Most Read