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What modern safeguards should be instituted in order to ensure appropriate protections for fish and fish habitat?

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Extensive damage of our environment is a crime is ecocide

SCORE:
2.0
Theme:Compliance and Enforcement
on 11/25/2016 1480043419
The UN SDGs are motivated as a result in part of the UN GEO reports of extensive unsustainable damage being duty to our environment. As a result of th .... Read More

The UN SDGs are motivated as a result in part of the UN GEO reports of extensive unsustainable damage being duty to our environment. As a result of this awareness I informed PM Stephen Harper and PM Justin Trudeau , the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Min of the Environment, the Min of Justice , the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defense of the proposal to have extensive damage of our environment recognized as criminal acts of ecocide in the Rome Statute from which the International Criminal Court (ICC) get it authority. When does the extensive damage to the web which in this case fish and fish habitat are a component cross the line and threaten the extinction of a species , the mental , physical ecological, economic and food security of Canadians , of  humanity?  When as a result must such damage be recognized as violations of humanities rights to peace and security ?  The government of Canada must recognize that it has the superior duty to protect citizens and the environment what sustains them.  In sept 2016 the ICC announced it intends to prosecute environmental crimes @chrisarsenaul Thomson Reuters Foundation  http://tinyurl.com/jkp6cru In closing is the nation Canada that committed cultural genocide of first nations people now committing ecocide the extensive unsustainable damage to our planets atmsopere, oceans and ecosystems, the web of life, commonly called climate change. Will those with a duty to protect Canadians do the right thing.Having informed the government of Canada repeatedly unfortunately they have not yet fulfilled their duty. 

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Increase in Environmental Assessments

SCORE:
4.5
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/17/2016 1479421431
The recent amendments to Bill-C38 have made Environmental Assessments of proposed projects that may affect fish or fish habit optional, based on the E .... Read More

The recent amendments to Bill-C38 have made Environmental Assessments of proposed projects that may affect fish or fish habit optional, based on the Environment Minister's discretion. In addition, the types of projects that will be selected for assessment has not been specified. We believe Environmental Assessments should be mandatory to ensure the best possible mitigation of environmental impacts, specifically to fish and fish habitat. Although a project may appear not to alter key fish ecosystems, proposals may not contain sufficient information to determine environmental impacts, specific to that location.  

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Sensitive Inventory Habitat Mapping

SCORE:
4.3
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/17/2016 1479358626
SHIM methods ( http://cmnmaps.ca/cmn/files/methods/SHIM_Methods.html ) should be required by DFO as part of a land use proposal assessment, to descr .... Read More

SHIM methods ( http://cmnmaps.ca/cmn/files/methods/SHIM_Methods.html ) should be required by DFO as part of a land use proposal assessment, to describe the existing "fish habitat". This method has been used in BC for 15 years by many local governments to inform their land use planning and decisions. Those local governments have found it a practical method to meet their business needs. SHIM should be applied to several kilometres of a water course or most of a water body shoreline to establish a baseline data set and to capture any cumulative effects in a watershed.

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Provide Fishery Officers and Guardians with clear power to stop conveyances

SCORE:
3.3
Theme:Compliance and Enforcement
on 11/17/2016 1479358409
Provide Fishery Officers and Guardians with clear power to stop conveyances as provided to Canadian Wildlife Service Officers under the Migratory Bi .... Read More
  • Provide Fishery Officers and Guardians with clear power to stop conveyances as provided to Canadian Wildlife Service Officers under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

"A Fishery Officer or Fishery Guardian may, at any reasonable time, direct that a conveyance be stopped — or be moved, by the route and in the manner that the officer may specify, to a place specified by the officer where an inspection can be carried out — and the officer may, for a reasonable time, detain a conveyance."

Currently there is no clear power for Fishery Officers to stop or direct conveyances, their current authority comes from their inspection powers but does not give clear authority.

 

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Habitat Compensation/Offsetting/Banking (NoNetLoss) is Mostly a Myth

SCORE:
3.4
Theme:Compliance and Enforcement
on 11/16/2016 1479275367
DFO needs to require several activities of developers to ensure compensation and habitat banking is successful. - Establish baseline data prior to .... Read More

DFO needs to require several activities of developers to ensure compensation and habitat banking is successful.

- Establish baseline data prior to compensation actions to facilitate site planning and long term assessments of success using prescribed methods.

- Accurately map and inventory newly constructed projects to facilitate future monitoring and research.

- Monitor and apply adaptive management to mitigate stressors in perpetuity, because compensation and habitat banks are always near human activity which carries the risk of future unforeseen impacts.

- Many completed compensation projects have failed because the above process was not used and DFO needs to systematically find and fix broken habitat compensation projects, to repay the habitat deficit to Canada that has accumulated since the No Net Loss principle was adopted in the 1980s

Compensation, Offsetting and Habitat Banking are ecosystem assets owed to Canadians in lieu of land development. It needs to be considered a permanent cost of doing business not just a one off expense by the developer. There are many financial instruments DFO can use to ensure habitat created is not lost due to neglect.

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Current F.A. wording 35(2)(b) allowed DFO to approve destruction of creek in BC and opens door to all stock stock creek destruction. case study, Maple Creek, Pt. Coquitlam.

SCORE:
4.4
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/11/2016 1478894306
Tags: Authorization 
Mr. Trudeau. Thank you for the leadership you are giving our country.  the letter addressed to you was also my column in the Maple Ridge News last Sa .... Read More

Mr. Trudeau. Thank you for the leadership you are giving our country.  the letter addressed to you was also my column in the Maple Ridge News last Saturday. Respectfully, Jack Emberly. [email protected]

778-668-4617

 

 

http://www.mapleridgenews.com/opinion/399876431.html

 

 

 

“Current legislation is not in the business of protecting habitat any more. It reads, serious harm to a fishery. Is it (destruction of part of Maple Creek, Pt. Coquitlam) serious enough? My colleagues felt it wasn’t.”

 DFO community advisor, Maurice Coulter-Boisvert.

 

Dear Mr. Trudeau. M.C. nurtures thousands of salmon fry. You could avert the tragic fate this salmon stream and all small stock salmon creeks face because of changes to the Fisheries Act made by Stephen Harper.

On June 11, 2016, DFO used the new wording of section 35(2)(b) to approve digging up 55 metres of Maple Creek and move it north five metres. DFO’s permit, June 2nd states this destruction of habitat, “detailed in an authorization prepared by CSR Environmental Ltd” would “accommodate the construction of a single family home” (10,000 sq. ft. with 3,000 ft. garage) by property owner Yang de Yang.  

DFO statement of approval continues, “Pursuant to paragraph 35(2)(b) of the F.A. the Minister of Fisheries authorizes the carrying on of your proposed work, undertaking or activity that results in serious harm to fish arising from the infilling and subsequent destruction of a portion of an unnamed tributary of Maple Creek.” Rebecca Reid, Regional Director.

Stream keepers, PoCo Councillor, Brad West, residents, Coulter-Boisvert, all say nobody, including DFO management, consulted them. They all oppose the stream rechanneling. First Nations, not consulted considers legal action. Protest has delayed work that could have been completed by August 1.

Sir, in your August 18 mandate letter to your Fisheries Minister, you say “I expect our work be informed by feedback from Canadians.”

 Maureen McConnell lives on Maple Creek. She wrote Minister Dominic LeBlanc in April and again in June asking him to stop this application. Did she hear back?

“Not a peep,” she said. It’s easy for government to say it wants  collaboration with citizens; harder to mean it.

DFO requires the proponent “mitigate” the stream work by salvaging fish and moving them into the new water channel it will create.

Sandy Budd, president of M.C. Stream Keepers insists that won’t work, and years of nurturing the creek will be wasted.

Coulter-Boisvert says he wasn’t provided details of the proponent’s plan.

“I would not have been in favor of that. We’re not in the business of trashing habitat, we’re in the business of protecting it.”

Stream mitigation?

“To think when you do that you can simply create a stream somewhere nearby and have equivalent value is ridiculous.”

Sir, let’s be clear. The DFO ‘triage’ or new process for assessing requests for development on streams - citing fuzzy and enabling legislation -approves destruction of them.

Approved “serious harm to fish”now awaits a ruling at Pt. Coquitlam where Planner, Bryan Sherrell says he hasn’t had time to assess the application and send his thoughts on to Council. He didn’t answer when I asked if stream disruption was more likely to pass if approved by the agency recognized as the authority on salmon habitat. But Sir, why wouldn’t it?

Sir, you say, “It is important we acknowledge mistakes when we make them.” Mr. Harper changed the Act. Your mistake is not having reversed those changes, and your Minister’s decision to engage Canadians in more workshops around the Act’s wording, instead of fixing misguided DFO procedures and policy. Been there, done that, with Harper. Reverse his F.A mistakes, now. Then let’s talk.

Four years ago, an Ad Hoc Committee in Maple Ridge concluded the current Act would “shift responsibility for environmental protection to municipalities.” Sadly, this has happened.

Mr. Trudeau, Budd’s community has written Po Co Council asking it to quash DFO’s habitat distruction approval, tucked flyers into Halloween trick’r’treat bags, circulated a petition to halt this nonsense hoping you or your minister intervene.

Sir, 1,000 BC schools participate in Salmonids in the Classroom. Kids in this program release chum into M.C. every spring. They weren’t consulted. Stream keeper and DFO’s community advisor – not consulted. First Nations – the group you’re struggling to bridge with – not consulted. Residents snubbed. Municipalities facing development proposals on watercourses need the old Act free of fuzzy, permissive language if we’re to save vital small salmon streams in every town. At one time, a specialized DFO officers and biologists within the Habitat Protection Branch did the job. It’s needed again. Sir, to quote you, “lf we are to tackle challenges we face as a country, Canadians need to have faith in their government’s honesty and willingness to listen. Let’s honour the trust Canadians have given us.” Respectfully, Jack Emberly. I welcome your response.

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Increase Fisheries Protection staff and return to local offices

SCORE:
4.9
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/05/2016 1478389581
The Fisheries Protection staff at DFO are frequently overloaded with projects to review. Their workload reduces their ability effectively review infor .... Read More

The Fisheries Protection staff at DFO are frequently overloaded with projects to review. Their workload reduces their ability effectively review information in the time frames demanded by their superiors and proponents. Project understanding and critical review of Fisheries Act Authorization application aspects such as mitigations, alternatives, and monitoring plans all suffer. On another note relating to staffing, in British Columbia Fisheries Protection staff were reorganized in recent years to a sector based structure (e.g., people who specialize in reviewing mining applications or LNG applications) rather than a local structure, and several small offices were closed. For large project applications that approach may make sense, but for small local applications (e.g., a municipality needs to widen a road and relocate a creek, or a marina wants to build an additional dock) the DFO staff reviewing the project should be local.

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Add Species at Risk to Fisheries Act

SCORE:
4.2
Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 10/27/2016 1477586257
Hello: I am a local volunteer with Streamkeepers in North Vancouver and am a bit overwhelmed by the complexity of formally protecting fish habitat. I .... Read More

Hello: I am a local volunteer with Streamkeepers in North Vancouver and am a bit overwhelmed by the complexity of formally protecting fish habitat. I can see why some people resort to “luddite” thinking and just want to smash the system because it is too complex to have much confidence in. That said, incorporating all stakeholders concerns is complex and I trust our government and civil service are making great efforts to both protect species and address stakeholders concerns.

 I am no expert but some of my thoughts, related to fish. It seems that habitat protection for fish was reduced in the new Fisheries Act as in the new act habitat protection is only applied to commercial, recreational and aboriginal fish stocks. When you consider that the Canadian Encyclopedia says Canada has 1200 fish species, of which only a few dozen are covered by the new act, this change appears to take away habitat protection for a lot of fish species.

However, this gap seems to be expected to be taken up but the Species at Risk Act (SARA) for the species not covered in the new Fisheries act. SARA makes it illegal to kill, harm, harass etc. identified/listed species etc.. So the issue moves to; what does it take for a species to get listed so it has habitat protection under SARA because if the species is not listed, the habitat of some populations of the species may be legally destroyed.   

As an observer of environmental groups behavior; when all species were in the Fisheries act, some groups worked to use the habitat protection provisions to stop all development near any fish population and there had to be a reaction from regulators as other stakeholders also had priorities. Putting the act back to the way it was, to give over zealous environmental groups undue influence or allow them to hijack reasonable processes would be a disservice to society.  However, we need to think about what can be done to support reasonable protection of habitat for species that are not currently at risk, so that they do not become listed and continue to have the chance to thrive.

 My thinking is that the Fisheries Act should be modified to include "species at risk" in addition to the species related to “commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries” as referenced by SARA. This would "double down" on the protection of at risk species, protection under both SARA and the Fisheries act.

A follow-on is that SARA should be revised to have an "earlier warning" category for species to protect habitat so that healthy stocks of all species are maintained and this "early warning" classification also be included in the Fisheries Act. In addition to this Sustainability principles should be required for all developments (at any scale) and rigorous enforcement provided for.

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Require research collaborations with proponents for authorizations

SCORE:
4.3
Theme:Compliance and Enforcement
on 10/21/2016 1477023204
Each time an authorization for the destruction of habitat is made, or compensation measures are proposed, a natural experiment is begun. Too often the .... Read More

Each time an authorization for the destruction of habitat is made, or compensation measures are proposed, a natural experiment is begun. Too often the results of these experiments are buried in consultant reports and monitoring plans are cobbled together with no opportunity for peer review or feedback, and conducted in such a manner that no clear evaluation of the activities is possible. Rather, some means of involvement by either DFO research scientists (perhaps not given the conflict of interest with DFO as the regulator) or academics (e.g., funding from the proponent to support research activities) would provide opportunities to both evaluate the effectiveness of recovery and compensation measures, as well as better identify best practices for future development to help mitigate the effects of authorizations. 

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