Recent changes to the federal fisheries act should not impact the development of a riparian areas regulation (RAR) for Gabriola, according to Islands Trust Regional Planning Manager Chris Jackson.
Jackson was responding at a recent Local Trust Committee (LTC) meeting at the WI Hall, to a question from former Trustee Deborah Ferens who was concerned about the withdrawal of protections once afforded to fish habitat through the fisheries act . She also noted that in the absence of protection from senior governments, local governments must work even harder to do protect fish habitat.
Jackson said the requirement to establish a RAR is provincial, and “there has been no change in the provincial direction to local governments”. He said if the Province is discussing a change to the RAR, “they’re not letting us know about it”. He said staff has been directed by Trust Council, the LTC, and other trust committees to put the RAR into effect.
Other communities have also asked what the federal changes mean, Jackson said. He said “a lot of the response is: we just have to step up more, but it just wouldn’t be enforced”.
Ferens also suggested that one or both trustees might want to get involved with a new Stream-keepers organisation started by Melanie Mamoser and Jethro Baker. She said “it might be that at a community level there is some really significant work the community can do that helps this legislation along”.
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