>This has been sent to all federal candidates that have public emails.
Further to my letter of April 5, thank you! Fifty-three of you have now answered my questions: would you protect wild salmon by removing salmon farms from BC waters and protect aquaculture jobs by supporting a land based industry? John Duncan (Conservative) is the only candidate to support open-net salmon farms remaining in BC waters (All Candidates meeting, Port McNeill). While the NDP, Liberals and Greens support moving the industry onto land to make more permanent jobs in a sustainable industry. The Conservatives are unable to say they support wild salmon. They are telling me they want to wait for the results of the Cohen Inquiry. However, Randy Kamp and Ed Fast who I have met with, will not commit to implementing Justice Cohen’s recomendations.
This is a concern, because the Coastal Resource Interests Study, Salmon Aquaculture Review, Special Legislative Committee, Pacific Salmon Forum and Auditor General report are all expensive government processes that recommended changes to the industry to protect wild salmon that were never acted on.
Further to the BC Salmon Farmers letter sent to you on April 8; here are some findings by the Cohen Inquiry.
March 17, under oath Dr. Laura Richards (DFO, Director General of Science) indicated DFO research suggests the majority of Fraser sockeye are being weakened and killed by a retro virus. The Minister of Fisheries (Gail Shea, MP, PEI) was briefed that a virus is one of the top three suspect causes of the 2009 sockeye collapse, but she did not tell the public. Instead, DFO left the fishermen and First Nations to take the blame. We learned the DFO scientist who made this finding is not allowed to present at meetings not run by DFO and not allowed to speak to the media. She has also not been allowed to test farm salmon to find the source of the virus killing sockeye and Strait of Geogia Coho and Chinook.
“Epidemic of a novel, cancer-causing viral disease may be associated with wild salmon declines in BC” Report is at Cohen Commission March 17 exhibit 613G
On April 5, we learned that senior DFO officials met with the salmon farming industry to discuss a “crisis,” the BC public rejects the salmon farming industry.
“Due to the scope of the public confidence crisis in the Pacific Region, however, it is recognized that regional Communications and Aquaculture Management staff will need to continue to manage the file…key to the strategic approach to addressing confidence issues will be targeting information for the general public….” Cohen Commission April 6 exhibit 611
Does it seem right to you that at a time when DFO is closing its community offices, cutting funding to wild salmon habitat protection work and research that money is being spent to change our minds about salmon farms? When DFO speaks about salmon farms how do we know if they are trying to sell us on the industry or telling us the facts?
I will continue traveling through southern British Columbia to your campaign offices to find out: will you protect wild salmon by removing salmon farms from BC waters, will you protect salmon farm jobs by supporting a land-based upgrade to the industry and are you certain the Norwegian companies have not imported foreign viruses? As a result of my work so far I would like to add one question: Who actually supports the ocean salmon farms that are using the BC seafloor as a dumpsite?
On May 1, we will be walking into Victoria because BC voters need to know which federal candidates have the backbone to stand up and protect wild salmon. This is your chance to let them know that you stand for wild salmon. Let your supports know they can join us and fly the flag for wild salmon. For more information Salmonaresacred.org
Thank you and I look forward to meeting you and/or hearing from you. You can respond to this email.