Jefferd Creek Rerouting

Petition: 412

Issue(s): Compliance and enforcement, environmental assessment, federal provincial relations, fisheries, other

Petitioner(s): Resident of Canada

Petitioner Location(s): Powell River, British Columbia

Date Received: 28 December 2017

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition is concerned with the rerouting of Jefferd Creek, which is located in the Sunshine Coast Regional District of British Columbia. The petition states that the Province of British Columbia has listed Jefferd Creek as a designated salmon habitat. The petition claims that the upgrades to Highway 101 made by the provincial Ministry of Transportation during the 1990s violated the Fisheries Act because debris was allowed to be dumped to block Jefferd Creek and alter its flow route. The petition asserts that the rerouted section of Jefferd Creek does not provide the same steep and rich banks found along the natural flow route and that the culvert constructed to allow water to flow under Highway 101 harms salmon migration.

The petition concludes that the culvert constructed by the province to carry water from Jefferd Creek under Highway 101 created a gap in water flow that prevented salmon migration in violation of the Fisheries Act. The petition also concludes that the altered flow route resulting from the Highway 101 upgrades harmed the fish habitat. The petition asks Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada to answer a series of questions related to changes to the historical route of Jefferd Creek following the Highway 101 upgrades. The petition also questions why a federal environmental impact assessment was not conducted for the portion of the highway redevelopment at Jefferd Creek.

The petition seeks ministerial orders from the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under Section 20 of the Fisheries Act to compel the provincial Ministry of Transportation to take action in two ways: (1) return Jefferd Creek to its original flow route in accordance with historical surveys, and (2) install a new culvert that would be designed to aid fish passage or, alternatively, reopen the original bridge that allowed Jefferd Creek to flow directly under Highway 101.

Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada