moved for leave to introduce Bill C-668, an act to amend the Navigation Protection Act (Colquitz River).
Mr. Speaker, I am introducing this private member's bill today to restore federal environmental protection for the Colquitz River system. Again, this is protection that was removed for all rivers, lakes and streams, on Vancouver Island by the Conservative government, in 2012, in Bill C-45.
The Colquitz River system drains a watershed of some 49 square kilometres in Greater Victoria, largely in the new riding of Esquimalt Saanich—Sooke. It begins in Elk and Beaver lakes, but also includes Swan and Blenkinsop lakes on its way to Portage Inlet. As a heavily urbanized watershed, the quality of the watershed is under constant threat. A wide variety of volunteer groups have undertaken efforts to preserve and enhance the Colquitz system and have had success in restoring a run of between 200 and 400 coho salmon and dozens of chum salmon in the river.
Restoring federal environmental protection to the Colquitz would support the important work of the Friends of Cuthbert Holmes Park, the Peninsula Streams Society, Friends of Swan Creek Watershed, the Habitat Acquisition Trust and the Colquitz Watershed stewardship project in restoring the important role of the Colquitz in our local ecosystem.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)