Salmon farm off the coast of Vancouver Island (Black Press files)

Salmon farms are Ottawa’s responsibility, John Horgan says

B.C. premier, agriculture minister announce wild salmon advisory group

The B.C. government is setting up a wild salmon advisory council to study the state of wild salmon on the B.C. coast, and will have more to say soon on the salmon farm tenures around Vancouver Island that are coming up for renewal.

The council is co-chaired by Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk Nation at Bella Bella on the B.C. Central Coast, and Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley.

Premier John Horgan and Agriculture Minister Lana Popham made the announcement Friday at the B.C. legislature. Horgan said the salmon farm licences coming up for renewal this month on the B.C. coast are up to the federal government, and Popham will have more to say on those in the near future.

RELATED: Popham warned salmon farm not to restock

The province is in talks with Indigenous communities in the region, some of whom oppose net-pen aquaculture and some who derive their livelihood from it in remote communities on the coast. Some of the farms have been occupied and disrupted by protesters since last summer.

One of the protesters, a woman who identified herself as Tsastilqualus, shouted at Horgan and demanded salmon farms be shut down immediately, dismissing the idea that further discussions are needed. Horgan suggested she cast her vote in the next provincial election.

Horgan said the government will develop its wild salmon strategy over the summer as recommendations from the advisory group come in.

Asked if B.C. salmon farm operators should be nervous about the province’s opposition, after Popham tried to interfere with their operations last fall, Horgan said no.

“I think their concern should be that there is a divide in British Columbia about the continued existence of the industry,” Horgan said. “We need to make sure that we’re working as a government with the primary area of responsibility, which is the federal government.

“The province is responsible for the anchors that hold the nets to the ground. The federal government is responsible for everything else.”

Members of the advisory committee include Green Party MLA Adam Olsen, United Fisheries and Allied Workers’ Union president Joy Thorkelson, First Nations Summit co-chair Ray Harris, Okanagan Nation Alliance fisheries biologist Dawn Machin, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks, Heiltsuk commercial fisherman James Lawson and Ward Bond, co-owner of Island Outfitters and a member of the Canada-U.S. Pacific Salmon Foundation board.

Just Posted

Housing development proposed for property alongside Innes Ave

Full development plan totals 292 dwelling units with four apartment buildings, 10 four-plexes

Cranbrook SAR tasked out twice over the last week

No injuries reported in separate motor vehicle incidents on Hwy 3/95 near Moyie

RDEK board leadership acclaimed for another term

Rob Gay and Clara Reinhardt to serve as chair, vice-chair for another yearly term

Local skicross racers hit the World Cup circuit

Olympian India Sherret is joined by fellow local racers Zoe Chore and Courtney Hoffos

Team Dickson hits the heights at IDFA events

Team Dickson has returned from Calgary with achievements and accolades in the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

WorkSafeBC investigating serious incident at Kootenay Boundary landfill

Medical incident shut down the McKelvey Creek landfill Friday morning

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read