As part of its Omnibus Budget Bill last year, the government passed significant changes to the federal Fisheries Act which came into force November 25th (see Order in Council P.C. 2013-1107).
These changes mark the end of the prohibition against the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat (the HADD Provision). For decades, the HADD Provision has served as the primary focus of federal regulation under the Fisheries Act supported by the scientific principle that NO HABITAT = NO FISH.
In place of the HADD Provision is now a prohibition against works, undertakings or activities that result in serious harm to fish that are part of a commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fishery, or to fish that support such a fishery. The definition of “serious harm” is the “death of fish or any permanent alteration to, or destruction of, fish habitat.”
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