Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Way back when, when I was a wee little lass, I had a speech impediment. It was nothing that a few sessions with the therapist couldn’t clear up but I had problems distinguishing my “sh-es” from my “esses” and my “th-es”. So my mouth became my mouse and I could sink but not think. I also talked way too fast forgetting to take a breath between sentences let alone paragraphs. It was too such an extent that only my family could understand what I was saying: I was a language unto myself. When asked by others why I spoke so … differently, I assured them it was just my Irish accent and immediately backed it up with an Irish Jig. Or at least what I thought to be an Irish jig. I put my hands over my heads and jumped over an imaginary sword a few times while channeling the Irish Rovers singing the Unicorn song. A legitimate replica to be sure.

Funny thing is my Irish ancestry is at least a few generations back. Perhaps my maternal great grandparents came from that emerald isle but then again, I may be pushing it. Regardless, St. Patty’s day holds a special place in my heart even if it is just in my political and environmental leanings.

Speaking of which, I just read in today’s Globe that the federal government has plans to water down the fisheries act. If they succeed it will be easier to push through projects such as Enbridge’s pipeline from the oil sands to BC’s west coast.

“This government is convinced that the Fisheries Act is an impediment to economic activity, and that is just BS.,” said Otto Langer, former head of habitat protection for DFO on the West Coast. …

The proposed changes, Mr. Langer said, strip reference to “habitat” from the act, and make the legislation difficult to enforce by introducing vague and obscure wording.

Currently the act makes it illegal to damage fish habitat. The new version refers instead to harming “fish of economic, cultural or ecological value.”

“If you can’t prove any of those values exist, you can’t take anyone to court,” said Mr. Langer, who added his former colleagues in DFO were surprised when he brought the changes to their attention.

For more information, read here. I am writing my MP and the various ministers involved. Please consider this action for yourself. To find your MP go to

I believe letters sent by snail mail are taken more seriously than petitions or email. Letters sent to the following address do not need postage.

Name of MP
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, OntariO
K1A 0A6

Write your letter to:

1. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans - Keith Ashfiel
* Fin Donnelly (New Democratic Party)
* Lawrence MacAulay, (Liberal Party of Canada)

2. Minister of the Environment – Peter Kent
* Megan Leslie (New Democratic Party)
* Kirsty Duncan & Grant Mitchell (Liberal Party of Canada)

3. Your Member of Parliament