DFO vs(?) Enbridge

Petro-Canada

“Enbridge clashes over fisheries rules” the headline read on the front page of the Vancouver Sun final print edition on Friday, 15 June.

Apparently Enbridge solved that problem by having the Harper government remove offending legislation on 14 June with the omnibus Budget Implementation Act, Bill C-38.

C-38 repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, amends the Species at Risk Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act, removes habitat protection from the Fisheries Act and paves the way for off-loading the costs of protection of fisheries to the provinces while giving the federal government control of what goes into provincial fisheries protection laws.

The Vancouver Sun quotes Fisheries biologists in 2010 stating “There is not much movement (by Enbridge) for avoidance of sensitive areas”, “Sometimes the proponent is pushing for the cheapest option” and “Enbridge’s decision-making process doesn’t ‘directly consider’ the crossing of highly sensitive habitat, like a spawning area, to automatically trigger consideration of alternative” Enbridge and DFO biologists disagreed on risk assessments of salmon-bearing waterways, with Enbridge labeling streams as low risk where Fisheries biologists considered them medium or even high risk.

The Northern Gateway Review panel last month asked DFO for a list of important salmon-bearing waterways where the company and department disagreed. DFO, spanked in the same month with 1072 layoff notices, responded that it could not provide the list as it had not completed a review of all crossings. DFO said that they would “continue to work with Northern Gateway to determine the appropriate risk rating”.

Shouldn’t DFO be telling Northern Gateway what the risk ratings are?

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