Friday, September 4, 2009

Ah - Doiiiiiii....

Aaaaahhhh... I love the type of e-mails we generally receive on a Friday. It seems as though some folks save up their stupidity, ignorance and lack of education, for one final, gigantic blast at the end of the week. Witness the following which we received this afternoon.

Quote: - I have been sport fishing in B.C. for over 35 years

What is the DFO thinking of. You have over 1300 people and a budget of over 100 million sitting on their ass in Ottawa, and no fisheries while B.C. has over 450 administrators which mostly amounts to having a bunch of dead wood at the top.

It's time you put personnel in the field where they can see what's happening to the fisheries instead of waiting until the fisheries is gone. - End quote.

So first off, this lad obviously believes that the whole end point of the national headquarters of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is to run the various commercial fisheries. That is certainly a part of what they do, but on the whole, this lad is of course, horrendously wrong.

As we explain to callers on an ongoing basis, Canada is an enormous country. So enormous in fact, that when it comes to the hundreds of programs ansd services offered through DFO, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Hydrographic Service, it is patently impossible to run and provide these programs and services from one office here in Ottawa. I know that your basic 7 year old would be able to grasp this obvious reality, but for some reason, adults from one coast to the other, cannot.

Fisheries and Oceans as well as the Coast Guard are divided into six distinct regions. Each region has it's own Regional Director General. The Offices of Regional Directors General ensure Fisheries and Oceans Canada program delivery in the six following administrative regions:

- the Central and Arctic Region, which includes Alberta, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario and Saskatchewan

- the Gulf Region, which includes the northern and eastern portions of New Brunswick, the northern portion of Nova Scotia adjacent to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Prince Edward Island

- the Maritimes Region, which includes portions of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean

- the Newfoundland and Labrador Region

- the Pacific Region, which includes British Columbia and the Yukon

- the Quebec Region.

In the regions where commercial and recreational ocean fisheries are managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, this is done on a regional basis. The regulations, quotas, areas, zones, seasons, licensing, CFV numbers, fish habitat management and resource management are all done locally, because these people represent the local expertise with regards to these fisheries.

To put things in a nutshell, the employees stationed in Ottawa, at the national headquarters, are there to coordinate the operation of DFO and the Coast Guard, handle policies, communications and basically form the administrative backbone of the entire organization. THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACTUAL MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES THEMSELVES, ANYWHERE IN CANADA.

I don't think it's possible to be any plainer than that. For people to bitch to Ottawa, complaining about what is happening in their own back yard, is retarded. That's the kindest way to put it. For them to do so without first even consulting their regional offices, is even more so. Who should they address their concerns to? How about first of all the local office charged with providing that program or service. And here, we're assuming that the program or service we're talking about, even has anything to do with either DFO or the Coast Guard. If you are looking for information or a service from DFO/CCG that they simply do not provide, well it doesn't matter who you moan and gripe to, it's just not going to happen.

Canadians have to learn to first do their homework, before contacting a federal office and making themselves look like an ass. Everything is available online. If you can find porn or instructions to build a shoe bomb, you ought to be able to find something simple like who is responsible for permits to build a dock, or a wharf, or a mooring point. You should be able to discover that riparian rights have nothing to do with the Feds, but rather your provincial government. The same applies to the natural resources of your province or territory. They are the responsibility of your provincial and/or territorial government. Not Ottawa's...

Here's another news flash... The word 'ministry'. When you hear that, it automatically connotates something provincial in origin. Federal government departments and agencies are rarely if ever referred to as 'ministries'. Provincial government departments are. Hence, the Provincial Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), the Provincial Ministry of the Environment, the Provincial Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NOTE: NOT Fisheries and Oceans Canada... Big, big difference here.)

For some reason, many folks out there look at the DFO headquarters as being 'Mom'. They figure that if they have an axe to grind with their regional offices, if they complain to Mom, she'll turn around and brow-beat the local boys and have them toe the line. Yes, this even looks retarded as I read it, but nonetheless, that's how some people actually think. The Minister can't possibly have anything more pressing to do with her time...

Now while it is true that each Regional Director General is responsible to his national DG counterpart here in Ottawa and ultimately to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the office of the Minister does not exist to receive or handle complaints about how the locals perceive the regional offices. As with any other federal government department, if you cannot resolve things on a regional level, take the matter to your MP. Remember that he/she is your voice here in Ottawa. Not the Minister of DFO.

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