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

BREAKING: Body found believed to be missing Chilliwack senior with dementia

Police says case is now in the hands of the coroner

Mammoth sturgeon catch was ‘a fish of a lifetime’ for Chilliwack guide

Sturgeon was so enormous it tied for largest specimen every tagged and released in the Fraser

Chilliwack’s Riley Ashley unstoppable as Team BC wins baseball bronze

Ashley clubbed six homeruns at the U-13 National Western Championships in Cloverdale.

Chilliwack’s Jude Hall selected for T12 baseball tournament

The Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy hosts the annual showcase event at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Motorists urged to use caution as Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls through Chilliwack

Thousands of cyclists will be heading through Chilliwack this weekend as part of cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

Pickle me this: All the outrageous foods at this year’s PNE

Pickled cotton candy, deep-fried chicken skins, and ramen corndogs are just a start

Fraser River sea bus proposed to hook into TransLink system

Maple Ridge councillor just wants to start discussion

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Liberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair

Dion concluded in his report last week that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act

Retired Richmond fisherman wins record-breaking $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Most Read