Premier John Horgan and ‘Namgis Chief Don Svanvik meet at Alert Bay over opposition to salmon farming, Oct. 12, 2017. (Hanna Petersen/North Island Gazette)

B.C. minister warned salmon farm not to restock

Letter to Marine Harvest not a threat, Lana Popham says

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham says her letter to a B.C. salmon farm company last week was not a threat to cancel salmon farm tenures in a disputed area north of Vancouver Island.

Marine Harvest Canada went ahead with restocking its Port Elizabeth farm near Alert Bay on the weekend despite the formal request to stop, and an RCMP boat attended the area to maintain order with protesters who have occupied area salmon farms since late August.

Popham’s Oct. 13 letter to Marine Harvest Canada managing director Vincent Erenst said the restocking “comes at a very sensitive time in government-to-government discussions” with aboriginal people who assert territory in the Broughton Archipelago and oppose ocean-based salmon farms. The province has 18 salmon farm tenures that are coming up for renewal next year.

RELATED: David Suzuki joins salmon farm protest

“As you are aware, government will be reviewing tenures and will make a decision on renewals before the current leases expire in June 2018,” Popham wrote. “While the issuance of any replacement tenure or any permission to allow you continued occupation of existing sites on a month-to-month [basis] remains subject to future decision-making processes and cannot be guaranteed, we look forward to your input on the lease renewal decisions.”

[See letter below]

In an interview with Black Press, Popham said the letter was not meant as a threat, and she understands the company’s decision to go ahead with restocking its salmon.

“I think one thing we can all agree on is that the status quo is not going to happen any more,” Popham said. “The salmon farmers also agree with that.”

Marine Harvest communications director Ian Roberts said the restocking was put off as long as possible, and the need to proceed and maintain the health of live salmon was communicated to the government. He added that the protesters have refused to meet with company officials, and Marine Harvest is willing to talk about solutions, including relocating salmon farms.

“However, that solution must include maintaining the business we have built over 30 years in B.C. with the support of the provincial and federal governments,” Roberts said in a statement. “We have a very good track record of working with First Nation governments who are willing to meet with us – currently having protocol agreements with 15 First Nations out of the 24 First Nations in whose traditional territories we operate.”

Popham’s letter was copied to federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc, who has licence authority over offshore salmon farms on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

Popham to MHC Oct 13:17 by Tom Fletcher on Scribd


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Queen Charlotte crackdown

RCMP target impaired driving amidst rising numbers of the offence

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Haida Gwaii storm causes B.C. ferry delay

Skidegate to Prince Rupert route affected

Rainfall warning for Haida Gwaii

High winds also expected to hit the islands

Haida Gwaii eagles recovering in Ladner care facility

Treatment for the eagles is both costly and time intensive

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pregnant teachers fight to change WorkSafeBC compensation rules

Agency does not recognize risk to unborn babies when mother catches illness from work

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Most Read