Protecting Canada’s Fish and Wildlife Habitat

Image of Stephen Hazell

Stephen Hazell
Director of Conservation
and General Counsel

The new Liberal government has promised to strengthen environmental protection provisions removed from the Fisheries Act  by the previous government. Nature Canada is pleased to endorse several key amendments proposed by Prof. Martin Olszynski to protect fish habitat across Canada.

Nature Canada thinks that wildlife habitat needs more protection as well. That is why we are also proposing amendments to the Canada Wildlife Act to protect National Wildlife Areas from oil and gas and mining exploration and development.

Now we just need Parliament to get to work!

Summary of Key Environmental Law Changes

Since 2011, the federal government has made the following changes:

  • Replaced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act with the weaker CEAA 2012, which scrapped over 3,000 environmental reviews, limits what gets considered in assessments and restricts the public’s right to participate.
  • Gutted the Fisheries Act by weakening fish habitat protection, removing protection over some fish species and broadening government’s powers to allow harm to fish and fish habitat.
  • Handed environmental oversight of major energy and pipeline projects to the National Energy Board.
  • Amended the Species at Risk Act by removing mandatory time limits on permits allowing impacts to threatened and endangered species.

Edited from the Canada’s Track Record on Environmental Laws 2011-2015 Document by West Coast Environmental Law and the Quebec Environmental Law Centre. 

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