Alistair MacGregor spoke about Fisheries Act in the House
June 11th, 2019 - 4:00pm
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to offer my support for Bill C-68 on behalf of my constituents who widely condemned the previous Conservative government's changes to the Fisheries Act. I am glad to be able to stand in this place and to fix the damages of the past.
That being said, however, I am very disappointed with the minister supporting Senate amendments 1(c) and 7 with respect to environmental flows.
He should know why I am disappointed about this. It is because of the Cowichan River and the Jordan River in my riding. Yesterday, the Cowichan River was reported to be flowing at a rate of five cubic metres per second.
This is in early June.
I do not know how the minister can stand in this place and not recognize that environmental flows are critical to fish habitat. I was on the river last month, helping to rescue salmon fry. There are huge swaths of the river that are now being affected. Loss of habitat is very widespread. We had a golden opportunity in this legislation that was passed by the House to have environmental flows enshrined in the legislation.
The minister knows that this is a big problem for rivers on the coast. I do not know why he is supporting that when the evidence is abundantly clear that environmental flows are absolutely critical to maintaining proper fish habitat.