Mi’kmaq communities join forces in defence of the Bay of Fundy

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WATCH ABOVE: Local Mi’kmaq groups brought concerns over projects in The Bay of Fundy and their effects on salmon to the fisheries department. Global’s Paul Cormier reports – Sep 2, 2016

About 30 people from various Mi’kmaq Nations marched onto Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s Shediac office to urge him to designate the Bay of Fundy and 28 rivers and streams as “critical habitat” for inner Bay of Fundy salmon, an endangered species.

“It’s not just important to Mi’kmaq people, it’s important to Nova Scotians, New Brunswickers and Canadians,” said Cheryl Maloney, Shubenacadie Band councillor.

“What kind of society are we if there’s no protection for rivers and lakes in this country anymore.”

The minister was not at his office, but the fisheries department released this statement.

“The Government of Canada is committed to protecting species at risk. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is aware of petitions for emergency protection for Inner Bay of Fundy salmon critical habitat, and is currently carrying out analysis.

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At this time, an opinion has not been formed that the Inner Bay of Fundy salmon is facing an imminent threat to survival or recovery, and thus an Emergency Order to protect the species has not been identified as necessary. The Department is aware of the Alton natural gas storage project, and provided expert advice related to the Department’s mandate to the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment for this Project; that advice included recommended mitigation measures to avoid impacts to local fish species.

DFO has concluded that with the measures proposed, the project is unlikely to result in “Serious Harm to Fish”.Fisheries and Oceans Canada is also aware of the Minas Basin tidal energy project; it reviews tidal energy projects.

The Department has determined that this demonstration project is not likely to result in serious harm to fish considering the scale of the proposal, specific design features and commitment by the proponent to undertake environmental effects monitoring.” said Carole Saindon, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The group has been defending the Shubenacadie River and vows to continue to do so.

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