OTTAWA – Yesterday, MP Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) asked the Liberal Government to commit funding to raise the Lake Cowichan Weir to protect the Cowichan Watershed in light of the crisis facing the Cowichan River.
Question Period – May 30, 2019
Mr. Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, NDP):
Mr. Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, NDP): Mr. Speaker, climate change is having a detrimental impact on our rivers and watersheds. Water levels in the Cowichan River are already low for this time of year. Startling new projections predict the river could run dry by July. This past Saturday, I was on the river helping rescue salmon fry that were stranded in pools from the rapidly receding main river. The situation is dire and my community is calling for leadership. When will the federal government commit to the funding necessary to raise the Cowichan weir to save this critical watershed and the salmon who depend on it?
Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Liberal):
Mr. Speaker, we continue to ensure the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. We understand the importance of fishery resources in the Cowichan River to local indigenous groups and the local community. We are aware of the issues regarding the low summer flow and the threats to fish and fish habitat.
The department and the minister have attended meetings with local indigenous groups and provincial and local governments. We are actively engaged in ongoing discussions to find solutions and the possibilities of federal funding.