An Island environmental organization is adding its voice to those opposed to possible changes to the federal Fisheries Act.
The P.E.I. Watershed Alliance, representing volunteer groups that care for rivers and streams on the Island, is reacting to information leaked earlier this month by a former DFO scientist that suggested the act would be changed so that fish would be protected, but not necessarily habitat.
The act currently requires companies pursuing large and small developments, from oil pipelines to road culvert construction, to prove their plans preserve fish habitat. Scientists say excluding the word "habitat" would severely cripple the act.
"I see it as a way for industry to move forward with their proposals and their project without much of an oversight on fish and fish habitat throughout the country," said watershed executive director Shawn Hill.
The group sent a letter last week to Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield and P.E.I.'s federal cabinet minister, Gail Shea. Hill said he hasn't received a response.
"I hope we get an acknowledgement that the letter was received, and maybe say they'll have a further look at it and maybe not hurry to make the reported changes that we hear are coming," said Hill.
Ashfield's office released a statement earlier this month saying government is reviewing fish and fish habitat protection policies. It said current policies do not reflect Canadians priorities, but current speculation over the changes is inaccurate.