Flooding on Rapid Road in Westmeath

Too Early to Declare Victory on Ottawa River Flood Plan Back-Paddling

It is too early to declare victory over misleading information being distributed by the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He now claims to oppose some of the more controversial parts of Bill C-68.

This is good news if it is true. Canadians will only find out when the legislation is returned to the House of Commons for another vote.

I thank all those individuals who raised awareness on the issue, signed petitions, or contacted their municipalities in support of my efforts to stop Bill C-68.

Without your help, and the fact this unpopular government will be going to an election in a few months, Canadians would not be seeing what we all hope is a back-paddling on bad legislation..

The Minister and his Liberal colleagues voted in favour of controversial changes to the Fisheries Act that would have caused annual flooding on the Ottawa river. They sent Bill C-68 to the Senate expecting it to be rubber-stamped.

In the face of fierce opposition, it appears the liberal party may have backed down on the some of the worst aspects they had previously rammed through the House of Commons.  

The liberal party has a history of voting down Senate amendments.

Bill C-71, the liberals latest attempt at bringing back the long-gun registry, was stripped of Senate amendments when it was sent back to the House of Commons.

There is no clear indication any Senate amendments to Bill C-68 will not suffer the same fate.

Bill C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence, greatly expands the power and reach of government by an expanded definition of “habitat” that, for the first time, explicitly included the concept of water flow.

The inclusion of water flow suggests that habitat may be harmfully altered, for the purposes of the Act, even by temporary alteration or impairment of water flow in any water body where fish are known to, or could exist. This is true whether or not that water body is natural or artificial, like a dug watering hole for livestock, or a municipal drainage ditch.

While the Senate may have amended Bill C-68 to remove some of the worst liberal amendments to the Fisheries Act, any changes, if they pass the Senate, require the legislation to be sent back to the House of Commons to be voted on again.

These changes to the Fisheries Act were rammed through by the Liberal majority in the first place, so I will wait for the final vote in the House before I start seeing this as victory for Canadians.

We know the Trudeau Liberals supported this broad definition of water flow that would have destroyed industries and homes alike.

The only reason they are backing down now is because it is an election year. We cannot let our guard down now that we have had another glimpse of the Trudeau Liberals hidden agenda should they win again.