Environment featured

Open letter to Dominic Leblanc: Save the Avon River

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – A letter written by Joanne Light to federal Fisheries minister Dominic Leblanc. She pleads for a radical rethink of the proposed twinned Avon River causeway in Windsor. Endangered salmon cannot enter the Avon River to spawn, and that should be fixed. Leblanc knows what to do, after all, a couple of years ago he helped fix a similar problem in the Peticodiac River, in his own riding.

The Windsor Causeway, with the Minas Basin on the right. Silt buildup after the causeway construction represents an additional threat to habitat. Photo Halifax Examiner

Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans,

Dear Dominic,

I have been getting copies of emails from the citizens in the Avon River ecosystem area attempting (It seems without adequate results) to have the same process done there that was successfully completed on the Peticodiac River in your riding. Why isn’t the same treatment being approved for the Avon River ecosystem?  

Your recent plan for the concerned people of Nova Scotia on this issue (and there are countless) is much less efficient and more expensive. Why is free tidal flow not being accepted as the way to go, as it was in New Brunswick?  

Is your inability to discuss the people’s request for free tidal flow, as was reinstated for salmon recovery on the Petiticodiac River, because fish, your present raison d’etre, don’t really matter to you?  May I remind you of the facts regarding when you undertook to do your job in the most exemplary fashion?  

In 2010, while you were the MP in the Peticodiac River ecosystem area, 500ft of causeway on that river was removed to allow free tidal flow (for recovery of the endangered salmon) and in December 2016 you committed $61.4 million to completely remove the causeway on this river.

These changes have enabled the New Brunswick fish to gill-breathe a sigh of relief as they enjoy their procreative instincts more fully and your home riding experiences economic relief, and possibly enjoy the same, as a result.

We know salmon don’t vote but Nova Scotia salmon matter as much as the salmon you helped (as you must if you are doing your job) in New Brunswick. This is the last chance for you to fulfill the mandate with which you have been entrusted by all the people of Canada.

Doing  the right thing for salmon recovery within any watershed is your responsibility. If you allow the illegal plan of twinning this ecological disaster of a causeway without accommodating the need for salmon to access the Avon RIver system, the ongoing habitat destruction and the probable disappearance of our unique iBoF Wild Atlantic Salmon species will be squarely on your shoulders.


Joanne Light

Follow the Save the Avon River group on Facebook.

See also: A river must run through it – Twinning the 101 and the Windsor Causeway

On a related matter, this August 25-27 join the Blue Beach Bash, a live music / tenting festival supported by musicians and volunteers from Atlantic Canada who share a concern for the future of the unique Inner Bay of Fundy, Endangered Wild Atlantic Salmon of the Avon River – near Windsor, Nova Scotia.

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