Report from Parliament March 25 2019 1200

First it was your guns, now it’s your land

It’s baaaaaaacck. Bill C-68. No, not Bill C-68 that was the original Liberal gun registry legislation. In the current Parliament anti-hunter legislation has been re-numbered Bill C-71. I am referring to Bill C-68 in this Parliament.

Like the original Bill C-68, the current Bill seeks to take away the rights of private property owners. It   reverses the changes our Conservative government brought in when we amended the so-called “Harmful Alteration Disruption or Destruction” of fish habitat (the HADD provision) in the Federal Fisheries Act.

Over the years, the Fisheries Act, which dates back to 1868, has significantly expanded to include a wide variety of undertakings that directly or indirectly involve water. This ranges from hydroelectric, infrastructure (culverts), to wetland and conservation projects.

This clashed with well-known conservation organizations like Ducks Unlimited Canada, who restore, enhance and manage wetland habitat for all species. Ducks Unlimited were harassed by bureaucrats who claimed their conservation activities were harmful to fish habitat.

Where private landowners, particularly farmers, clashed with government was the broad application of the “HADD” provisions by Fisheries bureaucrats in determining what was, and was not fish habitat. A farmer with a blocked culvert in a drainage ditch he dug on his private property, could be charged and fined for clearing the blockage.

Now, in a complete disregard for common sense, the current Liberal government has not only reversed our changes, Trudeau has expanded the definition of fish habitat. By explicitly adding in the concept of water flow, which was not in the old legislation, the scope of offences the property owner could be charged with, have been greatly expanded.

Worst of all, rather than specifically listing what is and is not an offence under this legislation, including fines or jail, Trudeau has taken away the power from your elected representatives and handed it over to the bureaucrats, to determine by regulation, what the penalties for non-compliance will be, after the bureaucrats have determined what is non-compliance.

Residents who remember the good fight over Bill C-68, the Liberal long gun registry, and its assault on the rights of Canadians, have good reason not to trust this government. The new Bill C-68 is another reason why this government must be defeated.