Broad definition of habitat led to endless red tape

'General public should appreciate the attempt to provide a pragmatic solution to problems'

 

The March 23 and 30 editions of the Agassiz-Harrison-Hope Observer have published editorials attributed to Black Press condemning the Federal Government’s legislative initiative to modify that segment of the Fisheries Act which defines fish habitat.

This modification has not been done secretively as suggest by Mr. Langer, who leaked the proposed legislative changes to Black Press, but at the request of numerous complaints from the public concerning the broad definition of fish habitat as interpreted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) staff.

Locally, this very broad definition of fish habitat for endangered species has resulted in difficult and expensive negotiations to obtain permission to clean drainage ditches to preserve agricultural land. Similarly, the present interpretation of fish habitat potentially prohibits any alterations in development adjacent to the Miami Slough in Harrison.

Rather than condemning the Federal Government’s initiative to modify the definition of fish habitat, the general public in the area should appreciate the attempt to provide a pragmatic solution to problems caused by too much bureaucratic red tape.

Lorne Fisher