Tag Archives: Fisheries Act

Can I get that with a side of bullshit please…

do you see a problem?

.

Driving home today and listening to CBC Radio I caught a curious and severely conflicting story, which highlights the out-of-touch(esness) of politics and otherwise in the current Canadian political and business climate.

This seems to have been a rather steady flow the past little while.

One segment discussed the release of poll results by the ‘respected’ firm Angus-Reid: Canadians Want Budget to Help the Jobless, Ease Pain at the Pump.

Apparently, according to a poll of 1000 Canadians (I’m sure it was representative of all homes…):

Respondents across the country prefer balancing the budget to increasing spending by a 3-to-1 margin.

Many Canadian adults think the federal government is right to reduce spending, but more than two thirds are calling for measures that would help the unemployed and reduce the price of gas across the country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted in partnership with the Toronto Star has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,007 Canadian adults, half of respondents (51%) expect the budget that will be tabled by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty this week to focus primarily on spending cuts and fiscal restraint.

Three-in-five Canadians (61%) believe the federal government should try to balance the budget, even if it means reduced spending on services, while 21 per cent would opt to increase spending, even if it means continued budget deficits.

So… if there is apparently 60% of Canadians that believe the federal government should “balance the budget”… how many actually know what it means to “balance the budget”?

… let alone what a ‘balanced budget’ is?

(and I don’t mean this rudely to those who assume a balanced budget is a GREAT thing…)

(that’s that old marketing is everything, everything is marketing…thing).

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Well…a balanced budget is not really all that different than a household budget.

A ‘balanced budget’ simply means there is no surplus or deficit at year end.

It’s “balanced”.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

But what about the overall debt that Canada carries?

Well… a balanced budget means there’s $0 left over at the end of the year. That means $0 to pay down the massive debt load that we already carry.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation suggests yours and my share is a good solid $17,000 each… or so.

For a grand total debt of a little under $600 billion or so… (if i’m counting the zeros right?)

So how much of that debt gets paid down within a ‘balanced’ budget?

Well… the same amount that your credit card debt gets paid down if you have $0 left over at the end of the month…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

And what’s getting snuck in at the back-end of tomorrow’s federal “Harper Government” budget is a potential gutting of the Environmental Assessment legislation and the Fisheries Act.

Is this in line with federal NDP suggestions that these guttings of environmental legislation are for: “Stephen Harper’s friends”?

Please show us how gutting environmental legislation, meaning delaying the costs of things like climate change, habitat destruction and so on, to mine and your kids’ generations — makes sense in the long run?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

And come on polling companies… and politicians… let’s not fog over the tough reality in Canada right now.

We have a serious issue with literacy and numeracy.

Wonder why there’s such an issue with voter turn-out…?

Well, one is that politicians generally spew little more than platitudes and B.S. simply to appease a fickle ‘voting’ public, which is quickly approaching less than 50% of the Canadian population. (worse in Provincial elections)

The other half of the population is struggling to read recommended doses of cough syrup medication required for their children’s cold…

….and figuring out how they can improve their numeracy to deal with day-to-day realities of mortgages, credit card debt, and whatever ‘low-interest’ (high penalty) credit deal Canadian banks and otherwise have been handing out…

(those same institutions then bitching about the high Canadian household debt load… See Bank of Montreal economist headlines today)

(… those same institutions who handed them – Canadian households – that debt in the first place… you two-faced, talk out of all sides of your mouth, rolling in profit institutions…)

Now unfortunately, Canadians largely have a menu that consists of a main dish of bullshit (farmed GMO), with a hefty side order of green salad bullshit (sponsored by Monsanto), and a fine drink sponsored by your ‘multi-national’, transnational, conglomerate, (once Canadian, but now foreign bought out company) (not to mention, once Canadian, but now foreign-owned grown in Canada hops and wheat, in turn fermented in a once-owned Canadian beverage).

Yes… I’m sure the budget coming tomorrow is all about “middle-class Canadians”…

DFO Shitshow planning on going sneaky… Some folks seem to forget: ‘NO HABITAT, NO FISH!’

one might wrongly assume that "deterrence" is the reason...

.

It has been a little while since I’ve had to do two posts in one day… however the news on the wire today regarding the Harper Government assault on fish, fisheries, coastal communities and so on — is impressive.

The graph above comes from information presented at the Cohen Commission into Declines of Fraser River sockeye.

It also comes from a press release put out today by Otto Langer an over 30-year DFO staffer, and even longer-time award-winning, fish biologist.

The full press release can be downloaded here: Otto Langer Press Release on Harper gutting Fisheries Act

Here are some lowlights of the apparent Harper Conservative plan to sneak a gutting of the Fisheries Act on to the back of the upcoming Budget Ombnibus Bill.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Langer's Fisheries Act historical summary

.

Here’s the current reading of Section 35 of the Fisheries Act — pretty clear and to the point, yet still challenging to prove in court…:

current Section 35 of Canada's Fisheries Act.

.

Here’s the new weasel-word, bumpf-filled, ambiguity-laced — giving Ministerial fettering to everything — language that is trying to be sneaked in without consultation with anyone:

New Reform... ahhh... i mean Conservative government weasel words proposed for Fisheries Act.

.

As Langer points out in his press release:

The newly drafted provision [35(1) above that takes out ‘habitat’ and adds ‘fish’]  legislation is not intended to protect fish habitat in any matter whatsoever.

Langer’s anecdote to this is great… he remembers a time when DFO used to hand out pens at conferences and such that said:

NO HABITAT, NO FISH!

Fitting close to the press release:

nothing like a 'neutering' to ruin your day...

.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

In closing this pathetic state of affairs and ongoing shitshow at DFO… (and other areas of Canada)…

One could look at the graph above and suggest to Mr. “tough-on-crime” Harper that it seems crimes are going down everywhere… even in the destruction of fisheries habitat.

Look at this wonderful graph proving the ever effective crime-fighting tactic of: DETERRENCE.

Must be that Fisheries Act violations have just got so nasty and onerous for polluters that the need for investigations is dwindling, and deterrence is working….

…hmmmm….

Somehow I doubt it.

48 convictions in 1998 down to 1 conviction in 2008.

This is called a gutting of staff, balls, and teeth — and most sadly, destruction of fish habitat, especially wild salmon’s, at an alarming rate.

This also means an enforcement and compliance division within DFO that probably feels about as proud of their job as a child labourer putting together those blue jeans you’re wearing…

Nothing like job security, meaningfulness, and pride to really make a Ministry sing with glee…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Goal for Harper and his Reform buddies… 0 [zero] convictions, under the Fisheries Act.

Let’s get tough on crime, everybody…

(or fish, i suppose, depending on which way you look at it).

Plus, I was just wondering (in reference to the ‘proposed’ amendments) … ummm…

…which “fish” does not have an “ecological value“?

And could somebody please show me the legal definition of “ecological value” or even ‘economic’ or ‘cultural value’ for that reason.

That’s the point.

This is about as gray, fuzzy, and blurry as that Hawiian highway was for Gordon Campbell back in the early 2000s. [oh right, it was his personal holiday… not government business]

Translation…. 0 convictions.

(and tarsands expansion, and pipelines rammed down BC’ers throats, and more fracking, and so on and so on.)

Hold on to your hats, here comes George W. Bush Canadian-style. (sans the required apology… “oh sorry, excuse me new NDP leader” says PM-bully Harper…)

(NOT).

Think the Fisheries Act is going to get neutered… well… this ain’t nothing yet (under this ‘majority)… going to be a whole lot of current legislation losing their balls… going to be an all out choir fest.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

And just to really ruin your fishy day… take a look at most recent post at Alex Morton’s website:

ISA virus in BC Supermarkets and Vedder River

She had Atlantic salmon tested that she bought at 3 B.C. supermarkets (most likely Vancouver Is.)

Five of them tested positive for ISA [infectious salmon anemia].

Yet, the Feds, DFO, the Province and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency continue to deny that ISA exists on the BC coast.

_ _ _ _ _ _

Oh wait… I can hear the response from Harpers PMO office…

“ohhhh…. you mean thatISA… we thought you were talking about a different ISA…(like the cartoon character from Dora the Explorer… or something..)”

ISA from Dora the Explorer

…oh yeah, we’ve actually known that that ISA… that nasty salmon thingy…has actually been here for decades… probably since the last Conservative majority (the real Conservatives… think Mulroney, and Clarke and stuff…) …sorry for the confusion, everyone…”

[Harper (whispering): “hey Ashfield, somebody go muzzle a scientist or audit an enviro-terrorist organization or something…”]