When the federal Conservative government passed omnibus Bill C-38, it cut a number of pieces of environmental legislation including amending section 35(1) of the Fisheries Act to weaken fish habitat protection. The legislation also removed protection of some fish species, and broadened government powers to allow more exemptions for harm to fish and fish habitat. In a nutshell, Canada went from protecting habitat to protecting fisheries.
“Habitat destruction is the most common reason for species decline. All ecologists and fisheries scientists around the world agree on these fundamental points, and the Fisheries Act has been essential to protecting fish habitats and the fisheries they support in Canada.”