Hants West PC candidate Melissa Sheehy-Richard says transparency and decisive action are needed to protect the freshwater habitat on the Avon River.
The PC candidate said a fish passage and a freshwater ecosystem, complete with critical flood protection, are equally important to the community. She explained that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is sowing the seeds of division in the community by failing to disclose what their plan is and what the future of the Avon River looks like.
“Clams are exposed upriver and at the waterfront and the riverbanks are quickly eroding,” Sheehy-Richard said. “Major siltation is occurring due to the incoming tide cycle. With their silence, DFO is letting it happen with absolutely no plan in place.”
Sheehy-Richard said the existing causeway has been a benefit to the area for more than half a century, providing flood and fire protection, increasing valuable farmland, and fostering an ecosystem that benefits wineries and a wide variety of freshwater species.
PC leader Tim Houston applauded Sheehy-Richard’s efforts to bring the community together and to protect freshwater.
“Melissa is someone who is not afraid to take a stand,” Houston said. “As an MLA, she will listen to her constituents, advocate for them and take action. I will always respect and support her voice on the needs of the community."
Sheehy-Richard urged residents and all levels of government to work together.
“Fishers help support the Department of Transportation and Active Transit and Agriculture engineers to design a structure that would increase fish passage safely for fish on both sides and satisfy DFO’s request,” she explained. “We need to protect what we have and be proud of it.”