Changes to federal Fisheries Act draw fire from three B.C. scientists - InfoNews

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Changes to federal Fisheries Act draw fire from three B.C. scientists

June 21, 2012 - 6:23 PM

VANCOUVER - Three scientists from B.C. have used an internationally prestigious journal to launch an attack against changes to the federal Fisheries Act that are currently before the Senate.

In a letter published online in the journal "Science," the scientists say the changes will allow unrestricted development on any body of water provided there are no federally listed endangered species present or fish targeted by a fishery.

They also say the Conservative government's rationale for making the changes is not supported by evidence.

The changes are part of the omnibus budget bill known as Bill C-38, which passed third reading in Parliament earlier this week but has not yet become law.

The government has argued the provisions being changed have been applied indiscriminately to ditches and other structures and interfered with landowners, but the scientists say only one proposal in recent years has been turned down.

They also say that of 1,283 convictions under the Fisheries Act between 2006 and 2011, only 21 involved the destruction of habitat.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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