Loewen Calls on Environment Minister to Protect Alberta Fisheries

EDMONTON, AB: The NDP government is failing in its duty to protect Alberta’s fisheries, Wildrose Shadow Environment and Parks Minister Todd Loewen said Wednesday. 

The Alberta Conservation Association (ACA), in conjunction with Alberta Environment and Parks, has the responsibility of aerating lakes in Alberta that have insufficient oxygen levels for fish to survive during the winter. Due to two legal opinions they received regarding liability from the open water the aeration created, ACA informed the government that they no longer would be able to take care of the province’s lakes. 

“I questioned Environment Minister Shannon Phillips on this very issue in question period,” Loewen said. “The Minister assured me that her department was ‘most certainly aware of this issue.’” 

Loewen also sent notes to Phillips and her office sent out a news release on this issue, stating that the issue of protecting fisheries would be taken care of. 

“Based on these communications, I felt a little apprehensive double checking to be sure it was under control. I was alarmed to find out that it was in fact, not under control.” 

Currently, ACA has developed a trial structure to use on half of Alberta’s lakes. The other half, however, will most likely suffer severe winter kill. 

“I find it very concerning that this government has time, money, and energy to jet across the country and around the world portraying itself as environmental stewards when they can’t even develop a process to take care of fish in their own lakes here at home.” 

Loewen is calling upon Phillips to address this situation immediately. He said there has been plenty of time to take care of this issue and it needs to be done immediately before lakes freeze over.