Editor, The News:
Lately, MP Randy Kamp, parliamentary secretary to Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, has been responding to persons who criticize changes to the Fisheries Act in Bill C-38 – in particular, fish habitat protection and the lack of it under the new bill – as making unsubstantiated claims and inferring that they have not read the bill.
He also states that the Fisheries Act still bans dumping of deleterious substances into water.
Both Mr. Kamp and his boss, Mr. Ashfield, out here recently to defend the changes, state that changes were needed so that farmers and municipalities could clean their ditches.
Of course, the changes removing fish habitat protection have nothing to do with the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, which will cross over a hundred watercourses in British Columbia, even though it has recently been revealed that Enbridge has been lobbying the fisheries department for more than two years to relax regulations to fish habitat to make it easier for Enbridge to build its pipelines.
What is interesting is that while Mr. Kamp and Mr. Ashfield are out here defending the changes and stating that fish will still be protected, a letter has surfaced that Mr. Ashfield wrote on June 14 to the president of the Union of Environment Workers. In it he states that changes to Canada’s environmental protection laws in Bill C-38 will offer new tools to authorize water pollution. He goes on to state that the existing Fisheries Act needed to be changed since it doesn’t provide enough options allowing industry to disrupt or contaminate fish habitat and that the amended act will provide flexibility and establish new tools to authorize deposits of deleterious substances.
Four former fisheries ministers have blasted the changes to the Fisheries Act as a serious weakening of fish habitat protection.
I wonder how Mr. Ashfield reconciles the differences of his statements in his letter to what he is telling the general public.
<a title=”View Letter to the Union of Environment Workers on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/99255497/Letter-to-the-Union-of-Environment-Workers” style=”margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;”>Letter to the Union of Environment Workers </a><iframe class=”scribd_iframe_embed” src=”http://www.scribd.com/embeds/99255497/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list&access_key=key-1zm25l76fwlf7ymdjxqd” data-auto-height=”true” data-aspect-ratio=”0.772727272727273″ scrolling=”no” id=”doc_67710″ width=”100%” height=”600″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>