Selkirk – James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman released the following statement regarding the Liberal decision to cut funding for the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program and the National Wetland Conservation Fund (NWCF):
“The Liberal decision to cancel funding for habitat enhancement has killed the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program and the National Wetland Conservation Fund. Yet again Liberal action fails to live up to Liberal rhetoric. Justin Trudeau’s dogmatic approach to environmental policy proves that they place a higher value on scoring political points, rather than protecting the environment.
“These programs provided substantial funding for conservation projects across Canada in order to protect wetlands and recreational fisheries, and the species that inhabit them. Since being implemented by the previous Conservative Government, close to $25.5 million in federal funding was expended on 198 NWCF projects. These projects worked with conservation partners in order to ensure wetlands and species were protected.
“This funding cut comes in concert with the Liberals recent announcement of Bill C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts, which puts put a priority on the enforcement of regulations rather than the enhancement of actual habitat. Rather than using a carrot to enhance habitat they would rather use a stick to penalize farmers, municipalities and resource users. With this decision the Liberals once again show that they want to make life more difficult for rural Canadian communities, instead of investing in proven conservation programs.
“Our previous Conservative Government understood the value of investing in the protection of wetlands and recreational fisheries. I call on the Liberal Government to reinstate funding for these essential programs immediately.”