New Fisheries Act Reverses Harper-era ‘Gutting’

New Fisheries Act Reverses Harper-era ‘Gutting’

Canada’s fishery laws are back — well, on the first step to being back, at least. On Tuesday morning, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc officially announced the introduction of an heavily amended Fisheries Act, the key piece of legislation that was gutted in 2012 by the federal Conservatives. And fishery law experts are thrilled.

The government’s made good on its promises,” said Linda Nowlan, staff lawyer and head of the West Coast Environmental Law’s marine program. “They’ve not only restored lost protections, especially for fish habitat, but they’ve also introduced a number of modernizations that were long overdue.”

‘Bloodwater’ Released into B.C.’s Coastal Water Contains Deadly Fish Virus, Government Tests Confirm

Bloodwater farmed fish Tavish Campbell

Laboratory testing by the B.C. government has confirmed tens of thousands of litres of bloody effluent released into the ocean from two fish processing plants contained a dangerous virus prevalent in farmed Atlantic salmon in B.C.

Two fish processing facilities that service the farmed fish industry, the Brown’s Bay Packing plant near Campbell River and the Lions Gate Fisheries plant in Tofino, were inspected by the province in early December and laboratory results confirmed the presence of piscine reovirus (PVR), the B.C. Ministry of Environment told DeSmog Canada.

This Vigilante Scientist Trekked Over 10,000 Kilometres to Reveal B.C.’s Leaking Gas Wells

John Werring in the field

If you’d met John Werring four years ago, he wouldn’t have been able to tell you what an abandoned gas well looked like.

We had no idea whether they were even accessible,” said the registered professional biologist.

That was before the summer of 2014, when he headed up to Fort St. John, B.C., on a reconnaissance mission. At that time, much was known about leaking gas wells in the United States, but there was very little data on Canada.

All Werring had to work with was a map of abandoned wells provided by B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission. Armed with a gas monitor and a metal detector, he headed into what the gas industry calls the “Montney formation,” one of the largest shale gas resources in the world. Shale gas is primarily accessed via hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

Most of these places, there’s nobody in the field,” Werring said. “You won’t see anybody for miles and miles. Just well after well after well.”

The Weaver-Horgan LNG Kerfuffle Explained

Weaver Horgan LNG DeSmog Canada

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver becomes downright indignant at suggestions he has retreated even a fraction from the LNG ultimatum he first delivered during a year-end interview with DeSmog Canada.

If B.C. starts to focus again on trying to land an LNG industry given all that has happened, I can tell you I am voting government down,” Weaver said in late December. “I am not standing by and watching us give away the farm yet again to land an industry we’re not competitive in. That’s my line in the sand.”

While Premier John Horgan was on a trade mission in Asia last week, Weaver repeated his ultimatum on Twitter, threatening to topple the government if the NDP continued to pursue “LNG folly,” emphasizing that B.C. cannot meet its climate targets if any major LNG project goes ahead. 

Did BC Hydro Execs Mislead Public About Cost of Site C Dam?

Site C construction BC Hydro

BC Hydro executives have mismanaged the Site C dam’s overall budget and cost control process, and they are “not capable” of accurate estimates or controlling costs on the $10.7 billion project, according to an affidavit filed this week by former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen.

The necessary experience and due diligence rigour required for managing a major hydro project such as Site C is deficient among the executive at BC Hydro,” says Eliesen in the affidavit, noting that it has been more than 30 years since BC Hydro constructed a major generating station.

The knowledge and expertise required, which formerly resided in the company, has retired or moved on.”

The 30-page affidavit, filed in B.C. Supreme Court as part of a new legal case against Site C by two Treaty 8 First Nations, reads like a Site C dam financial WhoDunnit.

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