Ottawa – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, is appealing to the federal government to reinstate funding for the Resource Restoration Program.
On May 26, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) quietly announced it would phase out the Resource Restoration Unit over the next three years, along with two other components of its Salmonid Enhancement Program. This eliminates education and technical support contracts and the production of steelhead and cutthroat trout at federal hatcheries.
“The Salmonid Enhancement Program provided essential funding for education and conservation activities benefiting pacific salmon fisheries, and are crucial for our communities in British Columbia,” said McLeod.
Local cattlemen, ranchers, First Nations and conservation groups relied heavily on the technical expertise of the restoration unit staff that provided guidance on fish habitat restoration and enhancement projects. By working with DFO, these groups were able to achieve their common goal of protecting the ecosystem.
“This is a short-sighted decision by the government and the funding should be reinstated. This was one of the few on-the-ground programs where the benefits outweighed the costs,” said McLeod.
“The Conservative Party of Canada invested heavily in the Salmonid Enhancement Program when we were government, and we will continue to fight for the funding to be restored,” concluded McLeod.