Earlier today, MP Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) asked the Federal Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Jonathan Wilkinson to make the necessary infrastructure investments to raise the Lake Cowichan weir and protect the Cowichan watershed.
The impacts of climate change are being felt around the world and especially in Canada, as the recent report from Environment and Climate Change Canada says Canada is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world. Cowichan Lake levels are at a fraction of where they should be at this time of year, but community leaders and the community as a whole are optimistic that the time for investment is now.
Joint federal and provincial funding through the BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF) totalling $142.85 million over the next five years was recently announced and open for applications for infrastructure projects to support the protection and restoration of wild BC fish stocks.
“It is paramount that the federal and provincial government come together and support the dedicated work being done by the Cowichan Watershed Board and many community members over the past decade to make this project a reality,” stated MacGregor. “There have been many challenges to overcome, but I feel we are as close as we have even been to seeing this project come to fruition and helping to protect the Cowichan Watershed for future generations.”
Question Period – April 5, 2019
Mr. Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, NDP):
Madam Speaker, climate change is having a devastating impact on our rivers and watersheds. In my riding, water levels in the Cowichan River are at a fraction of what they should be, and last year’s salmon spawning season could be lost as many areas with eggs are now above water.
The Liberal government easily found $4.5 billion for a pipeline. So, will the Minister of Fisheries Oceans make the necessary federal infrastructure investments to raise the Cowichan weir and ensure the survival of this critical salmon-supporting watershed?