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Aquatic scientists need to get vocal


Toronto, ON – A panel discussion at the University of Toronto will be focused on the need to raise awareness and promote action in response to recent changes in federal laws and cuts to government programs. These policy changes are endangering the health and sustainability of Canada’s freshwater and fisheries resources. The panel will begin by addressing how freshwater research and protection in Canada will be impacted by, changes to federal environmental legislation, including the Fisheries Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and cuts to freshwater programs and staffing at the federal departments of Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO) and Environment Canada (EC). No doubt, the new omnibus budget bill that makes substantial changes to the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act, will get a mention.

The main focus of the panel discussion will be on the strategic need for scientists to be advocates for freshwater protection in the context of Canada’s current political climate.

The discussion panel will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Room 432, 4th Floor, Ramsay Wright Building, University of Toronto, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 25 Harbord Street, Toronto, Ontario. It will be moderated by Mr. Dak de Kerckhove, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto, and will include, Ms. Laura Bowman, Environmental Lawyer, Iler Campbell LPP, Dr. Ken Minns, Research Scientist, Fisheries & Oceans Canada (retired), Mr. Tony Maas, Freshwater Director, World Wildlife Fund – Canada, Dr. Norman Yan, Professor of Biology, York University, Dr. Donald Jackson, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, and Ms. Diane Orihel, PhD Candidate, University of Alberta, Director, Coalition to Save ELA as panelists.

This panel discussion is co-organized by Mr. Dak de Kerckhove and Ms. Diane Orihel.