Vancouver—On behalf of Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Ecojustice is submitting a letter to the City of Pitt Meadows strongly advising against moving forward with a planned fish-killing pump replacement project at the Kennedy Pump Station in Pitt Meadows.
The legal memo, by Canada’s largest environmental law charity, challenges the reasoning the city used in its application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
“The city has applied for funding to install ‘as-like’ pumps, which means replacing the old pumps with the same style of pumps that kill fish and block salmon from accessing important habitat with more of the same,” says Watershed Watch Salmon Society’s Lina Azeez. ”There are better options that both protect our communities and our local fish.”
Ecojustice strongly recommends a reassessment of the capital infrastructure plans for the Kennedy Pump Station.
“The city is quite blatantly misinterpreting the federal Aquatic Invasive Species Act,” says Ecojustice lawyer, Daniel Cheater. “Moving forward with non-fish-friendly pumps could be a violation of section 35 of the Fisheries Act, to prohibit harm to fish.”
The legal memo to the City of Pitt Meadows has also been sent to numerous other parties of interest including MP Marc Dalton; Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare; Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNR), Katrine Conroy; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman; Minister Catherine McKenna; Minister Bernadette Jordan; and Parliamentary Secretary MP Terry Beech in addition to senior level staff at the provincial ministries of FLNR and Emergency Management B.C.
“So many incredible solutions exist for managing floods and the city is going for an archaic quick fix,” says Azeez. “I don’t think it’s a lack of funding that’s the issue, it’s a lack of will.”