Scaling up the Fisheries Act: #Act4Fish

Update: support #Act4Fish. Protect and Consult: Restore habitat protections in Canada's Fisheries Act. Add your name today at http://fisheriesact.ca/take-action reposted from http://wcel.org/ Fish matter to Canadians.  Fish habitat, called the “bedrock” of fisheries by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), matters. And so the law to protect fish and their habitatreallymatters. Today WCEL launched Scaling up the Fisheries Act: Restoring Lost Protections and Introducing Modern Safeguards, a brief that outlines preliminary ideas on reforming Canada’s essential fisheries law. Continue reading

Federal Priorities for Fresh Water - Mandates given

On Friday, for the first time in history, Federal ministerial mandate letters were made public.Among many directives, the mandate letters called on various ministers to: Immediately review Canada’s environmental assessment processes to provide robust oversight and thorough assessments.  Renew the federal government’s commitment to the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the lake Winnipeg Basin Act on recommendations of the Cohen Commission on restoring sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River. Review the previous government’s changes to the Fisheries and Navigable Waters Protection Acts, restore lost protections, and incorporate modern safeguards. Mandate a Chief Science Officer to ensure that government science is fully available to the public, that scientists are able to speak freely about their work, and that scientific analyses are considered when the government makes decisions. Develop a 10-year plan to deliver significant new funding to provinces, territories and municipalities for green infrastructure, including investments in local water and wastewater facilities, clean energy, climate resilient infrastructure like flood mitigation systems, and infrastructure to protect against changing weather. Allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment. Continue reading

An open door in Ottawa?

There’s no doubt that there is a new air of optimism in Canada’s environmental community. And with this comes a surge in demand sets for Canada’s new federal government around improving our environmental track record and reputation. The check lists and expectations abound. Early signs of the government’s willingness to reverse decisions by their predecessors offers a signal that a door is more than just unlocked, it’s open and waiting for us to enter.   Continue reading

Collaborative voice calls for healthy waters

First posted at: http://www.raincommunitysolutions.ca/en/news/. Protecting Canada’s fresh waters should be on the next federal government’s agenda, whichever party wins on October 19. And curbing runoff pollution needs to be on the agenda.   Continue reading

Moving the dial on freshwater protection in Canada

This is an excerpt of a piece written by Andrew Stegemann in the lead up to the 2014 Living Waters Rally.  Andrew has since left his position at MEC to work as an independent consultant.  He remains a senior advisor to Our Living Waters. From canoeing to backpacking, almost every single activity that MEC supports involves water. This means that our more than 3.5 million Canadian members have a keen interest in ensuring that Canada’s rivers, streams and lakes are ecologically intact; as a result, our move into the freshwater conservation space is a no-brainer. In addition to providing financial resources, MEC is in a great position to reach a large number of people and inspire them to take action. To figure out the most effective role that MEC could play, I began by calling a bunch of smart people working on freshwater issues. Continue reading