Res #: 41-02A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
WHEREAS, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has recently taken responsibility in the province for fish habitat protection and enforcement of the Navigable Waters Act; and
WHEREAS, their employees have no idea of the time lines often required for repair or replacement of culverts and bridges; and
WHEREAS, they have no concern for the extra cost they are causing to rural municipalities or individuals;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Department Fisheries and Oceans back off on their ridiculous rules and use some common sense in making their decisions.
Response From Hon. Robert G. Thibault:
Under Canada's Constitution, the federal government holds legislative jurisdiction for seacoast and inland fisheries. The legislative toll for fulfilling these responsibilities is the Fisheries Act. The federal government also holds legislative jurisdiction over shipping and navigation in Canadian Waters. One of the told used in this case is the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA). The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is accountable to parliament for both these acts.
DFO has expanded its presence in Saskatchewan in order to carry out its responsibilities. DFO wants to work cooperatively with its clients to conserve fish habitat and fisheries resources and protect the public right of safe navigation. These goals can be partially achieved through the pursuit of partnership arrangements with the provinces, the private sector and others to minimize any overlap and duplications in the review of projects under the Fisheries Act and NWPA. In so doing, economies may be achieved and overall service delivery enhanced.
Your concerns are timely. My department officials are in the process of reviewing the NWPA in order to possibly amend the Act to meet present day challenges. There will be public consultations during the process which will give stakeholders, such as yourselves, the opportunity to express their views on how the Act should be amended.