Farmers’ protest may spur ‘common sense approach’ at DFO

Apparently, farmers who protested the Department of Fisheries Oceans office in Vancouver on Tuesday were heard

Abbotsford blueberry farmer Devinder Brar speaks at a protest against the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Abbotsford blueberry farmer Devinder Brar speaks at a protest against the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Apparently, farmers who protested the Department of Fisheries Oceans office in Vancouver on Tuesday were heard, and can expect to see changes.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada wants to adopt a common-sense approach that focuses on the effective management of Canada’s fisheries and fish habitat,” said a spokesperson from Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield’s office through a press release issued Thursday.

Led by the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation, farmers protested DFO regulations and setbacks that they say takes productive land away from their farms.

“Canadians have told us they find our rules indiscriminate, confusing and far-reaching and our government has been clear that we are looking at making much-needed changes to these policies,” said the DFO, in a response that was issued almost 48 hours after the protest.

The DFO acknowledged that under the current system, drainage ditches, culverts and irrigation channels are subject to the same rules as productive waterways that support fish and local fisheries.

“Government resources are not limitless; it does not make sense to expend resources to evaluate areas where there is little to no productivity in the same way we evaluate areas where fish live, grow and reproduce,” said the release.

“We want the rules to reflect the priorities of Canadians and focus on the protection and conservation of Canada’s fisheries.”

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