One of the crime scenes

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Letter from

A British Columbian Heroine at Work

Since judges and lawyers don't have to work all week to make buckets of money the BC Rail Trial is on hiatus until next week after the Victoria Day Weekend. The BC Rail scam is just one prong of the Campbell gang's attack on the assets of British Columbians. The same ideological and greed driven "privatization" agenda is at play with BC Ferries, BC Hydro, BC Gas and the same lack of respect for the land and people of BC is evident in the continued BC LIEberal support for Norwegian fish farms and the extinction of Pacific wild salmon.

A regular correspondent of the House who regularly brings to my attention things I may otherwise have missed, forwarded this letter from Alexandra Morton, patron saint of the Pacific Salmon. I will reproduce it here as my pre-May Day post. I will bold at will portions I find particularly interesting or important.

Dear Mr. Foster, MLA:

In your letter below*, you are inaccurate in your assessment of the BC Liberal party's understanding of the science of salmon farming impact on wild fish. I met this week with MAL Ministerial Assistant, R. J. Senko and Assistant Deputy Minister Harvey Sasaki and they actually believe that stickleback are the cause of sea lice on juvenile wild salmon in BC. This theory has been thoroughly debunked by scientists and is the joke of the BC non-government scientific community studying sea lice.

Your government is also behind the times on the advances in closed containment and thus you are hindering this Canadian industry from developing.

I find the BC Liberal government's obedience to the Norwegian salmon farming industry slavish. You need to examine the reality of the situation. No government in its right mind would hold a coast ransom for a foreign industry with as terrible an environmental and social record as the Norwegian salmon farming industry when the same fish grows here for free. The era of easy oil is clearly over, the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is going to terribly impact millions of people. The Norwegian salmon farming industry is raising Atlantic salmon in the Pacific - feeding them on fish from Chile, in pens that bar public access. It takes large amounts of oil to do this. Our wild salmon on the other hand produce far more jobs, return to this coast for free, supporting our economy, making oxygen and they are food security. Why is your government is so nervous about the Canadian public having free access to food?

These Norwegian salmon farms are unconstitutional in Canada as they privatize ocean spaces and attempt to own fish in the sovereign waters of Canada. There is a wall of secrecy around this industry guarded by the Liberal government of BC.

I challenge you, Mr. Foster, to go with me on fish farms as they pull up their nets and pump fish out of their pens and lets see what is actually in the pens. These Norwegian companies are not licensed for wild fish.

Many Norwegian salmon farms are operating on leases that the BC government stated there would never be salmon farms. Only the Fraser sockeye that migrate past salmon farms collapsed. Other south coast sockeye did better than DFO forecast and this is entirely consistent with this industry's record around the world. If fish farm disease is infecting Fraser sockeye, they would be carrying those pathogens north and exposing Rivers Inlet and Skeena salmon as well.

You can repeat things ad infinitum, but it does not make them true.

(that's not what Doktor Goebbels said....../koot)

It is time to remove the Norwegian salmon farms from the waters of British Columbia because they are unconstitutional and also break the natural biological laws of wild salmon to the detriment of the present and future generations of Canadians. Invest in Canadians who are developing the solutions despite you and would provide better jobs and allow wild salmon to thrive. Everywhere in the North Pacific where there are no salmon farms, wild salmon are thriving! Why would we not try and have both wild and farmed salmon. It is long past time to move forward on this issue and stop denying the obvious.

The thousands of people at rally on May 8 at the Parliament Buildings are speaking to you. If you cannot hear them over the corporate interests you will bring your government down with this issue alone.
Alexandra Morton

* The letter of lies and bullheaded denial of reality referred to above

From: Foster.MLA, Eric
To: Jim Mellors
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:58 AM
Subject: RE: [fishermenlist] New Video

Dear Mr. Mellors,

Thank you for your e-mail dated May 18, 2010 regarding salmon farming.

Upon my contact with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, I have obtained some information on the matter.

I would like to assure you that a sustainable, stable aquaculture industry remains a top priority for government.

There have been some encouraging developments in closed containment systems but to date it is not yet possible to apply this technology at an industry-wide scale and government does support the evaluation of new technologies like closed containment to determine their viability. Our support to date has been in processes such as the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat review which summarized the state of knowledge on closed containment and salmon farming and the viability of closed containment systems has been part of our discussions with the federal government as we transition regulation to their jurisdiction.

I want to reiterate that government is well informed on the latest science related to this industry, which to date demonstrates that wild salmon and salmon farming can coexist. I also feel it is important to emphasize the value salmon farming brings to British Columbia’s coastal communities. The aquaculture industry provides an estimated 6,000 jobs and over $224 million in wages for British Columbians, with over half these jobs being filled by women and First Nations.

Government is committed to an effective, science-based regulation of fish farming practices in British Columbia and understands the importance that salmon bring to our communities all across the province.

Thank you for taking the time to inform me of your concerns.



Mr. Eric Foster, MLA


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