Postmedia News reports, “The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has no formal plans to consult with stakeholders on new regulations or partnerships to prevent industrial pollution after major changes to environmental protection laws were adopted last summer (that removed federal protection of fish habitat)… The latest changes to the legislation (that lists just 97 lakes, 62 rivers and 3 oceans where ministerial approval would be needed for projects to proceed) are expected to be adopted by the Senate this month, following changes from July.”

The changes adopted in the summer, stemming from C-38, the omnibus budget implementation act, mean the minister can make decisions on allowing harm to waterways and fish based on their “contribution to the ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fisheries.” Today’s news article highlights, “Despite pledging to develop new regulations and partnerships to protect Canadian waterways when it implemented the changes to Canada’s Fisheries Act and other legislation, the department is unable to provide any timelines or details of its progress, nearly six months later.”

The changes expected to be approved by the Senate in the coming days under C-45, another omnibus budget implementation act, will also make it easier for companies to proceed with projects that would harm waterways such as the tar sands, mines, dams, pipelines, logging, and interprovincial power lines.

By Brent Patterson, Monday, December 10th, 2012

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