Decision Maker

Dominic LeBlanc

  • Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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Petitioning Justin Trudeau

Re-Open the Comox MCTS Station

On May 10th, 2016, the Comox Marine Communications and Traffic Services station closed, despite efforts from many who saw it as a potentially dangerous move. I believe it's only a matter of time before a life is lost or our coastline is environmentally damaged. That is why I have asked that the name of the petition be changed to Re-Open Comox, because I will continue with my efforts in order to try and prevent such an incident from occurring.   On May 13th, 2016, I received this information from a private party: MCTS Victoria Ch 71 out of service from shortly after 0100 to just after 0400 today. Victoria did not respond to any vessel in the area of Texada Island for about 25 miles. All that was heard was other vessels asking each other what was happening. When Traffic did come back on it was strength 2-3 out of 5. Scratchy and garbled.   Last year, the Vancouver and Tofino Marine Communication and Traffic Services (MCTS) stations were closed. With an increase of shipping traffic expected in the future, the necessity of having multiple MCTS stations seems obvious. There is a suggestion that the construction of the new bridge that will replace the Massey Tunnel is to accommodate more tanker traffic—a further increase in traffic in what is currently the busiest area on the west coast of North America. Now the Comox MCTS station is scheduled to close on May 10th, 2016. The Comox MCTS station was constructed to survive a seismic event, it was rebuilt around 1993. The remaining MCTS stations (Victoria and Prince Rupert) could very well be compromised in the event of a Tsunami, while the Comox station would not. If the Comox station closes, with multiple occurrences taking place at the same time, the remaining stations would be overloaded, possibly jeopardizing the life of someone who needed assistance. Even if both stations were fully operational in the case of a seismic event, they would be overwhelmed. In such a situation, it is likely there would be a decrease in operational ability, if not a failure. This is unacceptable, given the heavy shipping traffic on our coast and danger to lives and the environment. Communications are the foundation on which Search and Rescue operates.  It is essential to a functioning system. Minister TooToo and Prime Minister Trudeau must immediately stop plans to close the Comox MCTS station because it's closure would pose a great risk to public safety and environmental protections.

Sara Gilbert
17,523 supporters
Petitioning Karen Casey (MLA - Colchester North, NS), Lloyd Hines (MLA - Chedabucto Center, NS), Tim Houston, Jake Stewart, John Ames, Serge Rouselle Q.C., Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, Ross Wetmore, Rick Doucet,...

Demand Class 2 Assessment of Northern Pulp's proposal to dump effluent in Pictou Harbour

This petition is in response to Northern Pulp’s request for its new Waste Water Treatment Facility and plan to continuously discharge large amounts (90 million litres per day) of treated effluent directly into the Northumberland Strait. This proposed action will have an impact beyond Northern Nova Scotia; it will impact the communal Northumberland waters and the coastline of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI. We share these waters and rely upon them for recreation, our economy and livelihoods, beaches, tourism and health. The toxic effluent discharged by Northern Pulp into Boat Harbour has made the site an environmental scar. Unfortunately, over 55 years ago this decision was made and permitted by the Nova Scotia government. Now, we have an increased understanding of the science and the ripple impact this pollution has caused. We all know the current situation is unacceptable and would not be permitted in other regions of Canada or North America. In making this decision regarding the effluent, it is imperative the Nova Scotia government take a strong stance and protect our environment, health, resources and other important sectors and drivers of our economy. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI rely upon and advertise beautiful beaches and sparkling warm waters to attract tourists. Locals enjoy these resources with their families and have property values attached to the water. Others, have livelihoods directly tied to the use of these waters and its resources. I am concerned about what this decision will mean for the quality of the water, sea life, the beaches, tourism, the economy, my family and our health. It is important all avenues be considered for treating and discharging Northern Pulp’s effluent and that the most environmentally sound be selected. If the effluent is to be discharged into the beautiful Northumberland Strait, it must be treated to a standard that has a neutral impact on the waters and is safe for sea life and human use and consumption. If the current government environmental standards do not require the effluent to be treated to this level, then the government’s standards need to be updated, as they fall short of the standards expected by the people in 2017.  We have this one chance to get it right. I understand this environmental assessment has been fast tracked under a Class 1 process which does not require a review panel or public hearing prior to making a decision. However, I know that under section 38(1) of the Environment Act, the Minister has the discretion to require a review panel and public hearing in this matter. I call upon the Minister to use this discretion and appoint an independent review panel to ensure full public consultation and thorough and accurate information is considered. Finally, when and if an appropriate plan is approved, it will require independent and transparent environmental monitoring and testing. Northern Pulp’s environmental track record and failure to stay within the existing standards is concerning. Third party oversight is a protection for both the company and the government from critics, and provides a level of comfort and builds trust with the public. The community is already celebrating the long and overdue January 2020 closure date and remediation of Boat Harbour. What happened at Boat Harbour is nothing short of an environmental disaster. The community of Pictou County and beyond deserves proper and fair government oversight to ensure that the same mistake does not happen all over again.

Friends of the Northumberland
5,189 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau

Help save our BC fishing communities!

Fisheries are a cornerstone of coastal communities and our local food systems! Currently fisheries management is failing local fishermen, British Columbian fishing communities, and Canadians. This is a fundamentally broken system and it must be fixed for the benefit of our local communities and citizens from harvest to plate. Our fisheries are being managed using policies that result in the privatization of access to our fish resources. As a result, our public resources are now managed for the benefit of private investors and increasingly multinational companies. It is our fishermen, our communities and Canadian citizens who are paying the price. A very real and current example is in one recent transaction of over $50m in licenses and quota sold to a corporate entity abroad. In BC the exorbitant cost of licenses and quota is leaving no room for independent fishermen, and small scale community and family fishing businesses to exist. Corporate investors are driving prices up and any fisherman in BC will tell you that it is extremely hard to enter and remain in Pacific fisheries due to extreme financial barriers. Our fisheries policies have allowed these practices to go unchecked, and have led to loss of jobs, seriously damaging communities and cultures along the coast. The damage being done is felt all the way from the boat to our dinner plates. Despite the bounty of healthy food supply our oceans provide, families and local small businesses - fish mongers, chefs, restaurateurs, etc.- cannot access a good supply of local fish for their dinner tables and their customers. Currently 85% of Canadian seafood is exported while up to 93% of the seafood available to Canadians is imported. Canadian food security is in great danger when we cannot provide our own people with access to our own seafood. We, the undersigned, call on the The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, to commit to fisheries policy reform for Pacific fisheries that can address these issues, and return the many benefits of this resource to our harvesters, communities and the Canadian public. For more information on this issue visit our wesite:

Slow Fish Canada
4,228 supporters
Petitioning Dominic LeBlanc, John Horgan

Stop the Canadian Government from closing prime commercial fishing grounds

Attention BC Fishermen!!! The Canadian Liberal government is snatching our livelihoods right out from underneath us without even telling us. There has been virtually no consultation process, and they are pushing on without any consideration for our industry. Presently, DFO and the Canadian government is pushing through with a very broad closure of prime fishing ground in Haida Gwaii. 50% of the fishing grounds around Gwaii Haanas, both the east and west coasts and all of the area around Cape St. James are slated to be closed down to all commercial fishing by February of this year. Presently, fishing groups are fighting hard to mitigate which areas are closed as to not affect our groundfish, prawn, tuna, and crab fleets. Yet, still many are unaware that this is even happening. Once again, the government is USING First Nations people to further their private agenda. The government first approached First Nations band’s on the east coast, the prairie provinces, and the arctic to ask for permission to turn the waters adjoining their territory into Canadian parkland and marine protected areas. The FN band’s in those areas denied the government in favour of keeping their commercial fisheries alive in the proposed Marine Protected Areas. The government mandate for this program is to turn 15% of canada’s Oceansinto park land and marine protected areas, which could be up to 30% of Pacific waters. With the east coast, central, and arctic regions having been denied they are looking to close down VAST swaths of Ocean to commercial and sport fishing in B.C. Here’s what Fishermen need to understand: these closures will affect us all. First Nations, Non First Nations, sport fishermen. The mandate of these planned closures is to not even allow First Nations groups to utilize these areas for commercial fishing. These will be no go zones for commercial and sport. DFO sought out social license and approval from north Coast bands, and got it. There are 9 signing Nations on this plan, and they are all under the guise that they will be able to continue to fish here and manage the resources. This is false, as there will be nothing in these areas to manage, and First Nations Commercial Fishermen will be displaced as well. FSC Fisheries will be allowed to some extent, but not on the same profitable level as the commercial fisheries. There is no scientific basis or conservation concerns in the decision to close these areas. The entire plan of these closures was the brainchild of the liberal government, formulated by people in Ottawa who neither care about or understand our industry. They are pushing for another feel good story to share with their constituents. There has been next no consultation process with industry, no economic impact statements, and very little publication on the move to create these Marine Protected Areas. It has been done in a manner that has kept industry in the dark. If there was ever a time for First Nations Fishermen, non First Nations Fishermen, and sport fishermen to band together, THIS IS IT. We are all Fishermen regardless of race or user group. We all fish the same Ocean. We are all in this together. It’s time to stand up for our industry. The government has a plan to next close portions of the central coast. After that they plan on taking steps towards creating more closures around Northern Vancouver Island. This is going to stress our industry and cause the fleets to crowd into smaller areas. We will all be part of history as the last Fishermen on this coast if things keep going in this direction. It’s time to act. We need to show that we are unified and will not be displaced. We need to set a precedent for the future. Please Contact me with any further questions. We are all Fishermen. Let’s preserve this together. 

Scott Watson
1,277 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau

"Unlikely" is not acceptable. TEST for ZIKV, WNV, SLEV, and Wolbachia.

The US gov't (USAID) along with three other gov'ts plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation heavily funds Wolbachia-infected Aedes releases (which I believe to be the root cause of these whales' mortality). This is why NOAA (a US gov't agency) has a HUGE conflict of interest and should NOT even be involved in the investigation alongside the DFO in Canada. Regarding the ban on rescuing entangled whales: it's been months. I can understand a week but these whales are generally docile (not vicious, like a bear). We don't stop rescuing people when firemen or helicopter pilots die in the line of duty. This is akin to impeding an investigation. Perhaps even obstruction of justice. After I was denied access to the NOAA's media conference (re: UME) and my concerns ignored (since April 2017), it's become clear to me that the NOAA should NOT be involved in the investigations into North Atlantic right whale deaths. Here is precisely why: David Gouveia, Protected Species Monitoring Program branch chief, NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region, clearly stated: "What we might glean from the report: A general cause; commercial gear, fishing interactions."  What's more, the ban on North Atlantic right whale rescues will make pathologists' reports inconclusive. FACT: The evidence that it's ship strikes and entanglements is extremely weak and pathologists have said these could have occurred after death. "Blunt trauma could have been inflicted after death." Source: island/north-atlantic-right-whale-deaths-necropsy-1.4187344  Tonya Wimmer, director for the Marine Animal Response Society, said: "There is nothing on them. There doesn't seem to be anything apparent from the outside." Source: And their low birth rates (which is likely related to Wolbachia infecting their food source*) will not even be looked at in the NOAA's UME. *ADDENDUM September 24th, 2017: Calanus finmarchicus consumes both plant and animal and "takes in" in water (at both ends). Supporting studies: "Results of microplankton counts indicated C. finmarchicus to be omnivorous." Source: An omnivore is an animal that eats both plants and animals for their main food. Omnivory has been observed [in Calanus finmarchicus] (Ohman & Runge 1994, Basedow & Tande 2006). Source: The Biology of a Marine Copepod: Calanus finmarchicus (Gunnerus) states on page 122: "Fox (1952) discussed the oral and anal uptake of water and comes to the conclusion it is not respiratory ... reversed anal peristalsis causes an uptake of water." Calanus finmarchicus may adapt to increasing water temperatures resulting from global warming by slowly shifting its distribution northward to remain in suitable temperatures. Source: Note the word: "SLOWLY" shifting its distribution northward. I believe vertebrates are becoming infected with Wolbachia and it's applicable to baleen whales, some birds, shorebirds, and even humans.  Supporting studies: 1) "Aerial insectivores fell 51 per cent, and shorebird populations declined by 43 per cent, even as waterfowl and birds of prey increased." Source: 2) Sperm counts have declined by more than half for Western men: "Even though we did not study the causes, it's clearly not genetic causes," Levine said. "It must be the change in the modern lifestyle and the environment that we live." Worth repeating: the environment that we live. The study assessing the safety of Wolbachia-infected Aedes releases clearly states: "The different samples collected were meant to represent a full variety of species or "environment" in which Wolbachia could have disseminated. Samples comprised soil samples, plant leaves and roots, earthworms and millipedes, all collected from inside the enclosure." Shocking (to me) is they did not test: birds, bats, Culex mosquitoes, planktivorous fish and other aquatic species. But who funded it? "Financial support: FNIH/Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/NHMRC." Study source link:   Furthermore, only one Canadian, Matthew Hardy, Aquatic Resources Management Division manager, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, appeared to have any input at the NOAA's media conference. What Canadian pathologists are actually saying: "We want to make sure that what we see is correct, she added ... But Bourque said experts still can't say definitively what killed any of the whales." Source: news/canada/prince-edward- island/pei-right-whales- necropsies-avc-report-1. 4258918 By anyone's math, 13 to 16 whales (that we know of) dying in the span of two months does NOT point to fishing gear, entanglements, or shipping traffic as the root cause of mortality. And the richest people on the planet SHOULD be held accountable for poisoning the food chain with Wolbachia-infected Aedes: Bill & Melinda Gates; Wellcome Trust; Australian, Queensland, UK and Brazilian gov'ts; USAID, Tahija and Gillespie Family Foundations. They are NOT above the law. Canada, let's stop making the little guy (trying to earn a living on the east coast) or the Canadian taxpayer or the cruise line and shipping industries be the scapegoat in this case.

Rose Webster
1,190 supporters
Petitioning Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Department of Energy and Resource Development New Brunswick, Dominic LeBlanc, Rick Doucet

Open the proposed list of 77 lakes to ice fishing in New Brunswick!

There are too few inland ice fishing opportunites in New Brunswick. Anglers are tired of this and some have stopped purchasing ice fishing licences or stopped participating in ice fishing completely. Small businesses could benefit greatly from the increase in winter time recreational angling as well. The list of 77 lakes to be potentially opened for ice fishing was created in 2014 and there has been no movement from DFO or DERD (formerly DNRE) on this since, even though concerned anglers, DERD Fisheries Biologists and DERD officials have done much of the ground work already. What needs to be done to expedite the process? #1. Anglers and First Nations need to voice their support for this initiative. Option #2 or #3 #2. DERD needs to write a special variation order to extend the open water season which will allow the opening of the 77 lakes proposed and clearly explain the differing rules which would be imposed under provincial regulations versus the standard federally imposed regulations. This may be the easiest and fastest way to open these lakes to ice fishing. Or #3. DFO then needs to put their wheels in motion to make the necessary regulatory changes to the exisiting acts that dictate which lakes are open to ice fishing. As mentioned before DERD has done their part, followed proper procedure and left the ball in DFO's court as it is their ultimate responsibility.   Your support will help us all have better angling opportunities during the winter season, increase licence sale revenues that support conservation efforts and help local small businesses. Thank you.  

Steve Delaney
724 supporters
Petitioning Justin Trudeau, Wayne Long, Jean-Yves Duclos, Mel Norton, Brian Gallant, Victor Boudreau, Cathy Rogers, Serge Rousselle, Dominic LeBlanc, Shelley Rinehart, Bill Farren, Greg Norton, Susan Fullerton...

Kids in Saint John are living in crisis: make sure they have a safe, affordable home and a warm bed!

“kids are hungry. They live in substandard housing, with little or no heat, and sometimes, no beds. They aren’t healthy. They don’t have winter coats. They’re living in crisis... All of this puts learning on the back burner.” I have not been able to get those words out of my head since I read them in a Telegraph Journal article on October 17th entitled Children are Hungry, Unhealthy and Cold: the Reality of Poverty in Saint John. 1 in 3 children in Saint John lives in poverty—in the city’s third ward, it is 1 in 2 (49.5%). With a child poverty rate of 31%, Saint John has the highest rate of child poverty among major cities in Canada—it has remained stubbornly high, increasing from 28.9% in 2006, to 31.0% in 2013 (based on taxfiler data, using LIM-AT). This petition is calling for all three levels of government to respond to child poverty in our city like the crisis that it is. It is calling for a response like the one described by Dr. W. Barry Miller in his commentary (full text here).   Dr Miller says we have a state of emergency on our hands and that “It is imperative that each level of government demonstrates leadership and addresses this crisis.”  He further explains that resources used to address this crisis must be seen as an investment: “We know there will be financial implications for all levels of government. This should never be seen as expenditures without a return. Any money spent will certainly be an investment in these children, their future and our society. We will all reap the benefits. We have children in need depending on our response. They cannot help themselves; they need us to be their advocate. Let’s do it.” Yes, let’s do it! Municipalities should use their ability to regulate land use to encourage and facilitate the development of mixed income neighbourhoods, and help develop programs, in partnership with non-profits and neighbourhoods, to facilitate the establishment of affordable housing. Importantly, they can also be our advocates! The province should use its jurisdiction to ensure a sufficient supply of affordable, adequate housing.  This means more rent geared to income subsidies through an increase in social housing, as well as non-profit and co-op housing; significant investments in renovation and retrofits to restore substandard housing; adequate resources to fully enforce regulations and the obligations of landlords to provide safe and healthy housing.   The federal government should provide national leadership and financial resources to ensure that the rights of our children are realized.   Universal Children’s day is November 20th; this is the day that The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which Canada ratified in 1991.    Under this convention, children have the right to a decent standard of living. This means they should have food, clothes, and a place to live. They also have the right to help from the government if they are poor or in need. November 22nd is National Housing Day. Housing is the foundation for a healthy, happy life. Housing insecurity during childhood is linked to chronic health conditions, food insecurity, and barriers to education. It is a basic need. It is a human right. It is the foundation for a healthy life.  Without the foundation of a safe, stable, affordable, and heated home, it almost impossible to move forward.  How can you work towards a more decent life when you are constantly in crisis? How can you even finish high school? Too many children in our community are living without the stability of a home base that is safe, affordable, and adequate. Too many children are being denied their rights to learn, play, and develop. We must act now to address this crisis. Sign out petition to tell our elected officials you want them to respond to this crisis, and that ensuring access to a safe, adequate, affordable place to live and a warm bed to sleep in is a good place to start.

Saint John Community Council on Homelessness
699 supporters