We never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do.
– Crosby, Stills and Nash, Southern Cross
Surely, if he did know what he was doing, he wouldn’t be doing it, right?
Unfortunately all signs point in the wrong direction.
In recent weeks surprised pundits and politicians have weighed in on the implications of a leaked document indicating Harper’s federal Conservative government is planning to take the word ‘habitat’ out of the Canadian Fisheries Act.
Any first-year biology student knows that without habitat there really is no foundation for life.
Taking the word habitat out of the Fisheries Act relieves the government of its duty to protect fish habitat, the habitat that fish need to feed, reproduce and seek shelter from the sun or predators.
The changes to the Fisheries Act, according to the documents leaked to former Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientist Otto Langer, form part of a larger bill dealing with the budget and other loose ends.
Although the bill has not yet hit the floor of the House of Commons, there has been little uproar from the people who depend on fish to earn their living, or to feed themselves.
Tucking the change into budget bill seems like their trying to pull a fast one. If they weren’t trying to pull a fast one, they would propose the changes in a separate bill.
Taking the word habitat out of the Fisheries Act is the expedient thing to do, once it’s done it then doesn’t matter if, say an oil company wants to build a pipeline that would damage fish habitat, or it wouldn’t matter if said pipeline leaked its contents into a stream, lake, or even the ocean and caused damage to fish habitat.
In the myopic vision that seems to plague the Harper government, taking the word habitat out of the Fisheries Act is easier than putting some thought into building a pipeline, looking ahead to potential consequences and finding solutions to those consequences before they happen.
Unfortunately, not you, nor I, nor Stephen Harper can live without habitat. Is that so difficult to understand?
Let’s keep our fingers crossed this initiative fails, in the end it is the smartest thing to do.
– Percy N. Hébert/Smithers Interior News