An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. on Oct. 31, 2018. Several Vancouver Island mayors and members of British Columbia’s salmon farming industry say a federal decision to phase out fish farming has left them feeling “disposable and discarded.” In a letter to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, they say they weren’t consulted before she announced a plan to phase out open-net pen fish farming in the Discovery Islands over the next 18 months. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. on Oct. 31, 2018. Several Vancouver Island mayors and members of British Columbia’s salmon farming industry say a federal decision to phase out fish farming has left them feeling “disposable and discarded.” In a letter to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, they say they weren’t consulted before she announced a plan to phase out open-net pen fish farming in the Discovery Islands over the next 18 months. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward

Strathcona Regional District pens letter to Trudeau about fish farm closure

Minister Jordan, MLA Babchuk and MP Blaney also included in letter

The Strathcona Regional District board of directors is writing a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Fisheries Bernadette Jordan about the decision to phase out fish farms from the waters around the Discovery Islands.

Electoral Area D director Brenda Leigh put the motion forward to draft the letter, expressing how the district is disappointed there was no consultation with any local governments about the decision, and that the closure could affect up to “1,500 direct and indirect jobs and further harm the struggling economy on Northern Vancouver Island.”

The motion saw approval across the board, and directors wanted to ensure that the federal government understands that local government consultation on these kinds of matters is crucial.

“The issue is that the federal government does not recognize local government as a level of government, so when we talk about communities, that doesn’t mean local governments. That means communities,” said director Charlie Cornfield. “If they’ve talked to a few people in town or organizations, that means they’ve done their community consultation. I think it’s really important to stress the local government part. I think that is really important because until they do recognize us, they just ignore us.”

“I would like to see any letter that goes out be very very clear that they’ve not had any dialogue with any local government, whether it’s cities or other local government. The impacts of this decision are huge, and I think we need to stress the fact that local government is the voice of the local communities,” he added.

Director Colleen Evans added that the letter should be copied to MLA Michele Babchuk and MP Rachel Blaney as well because of the lack of interaction with local governments.

“We need to make sure that we include and copy this to our regional representatives. To ensure that we are keeping them informed and holding them accountable to be able to respond to the information that we’re bringing forward,” she said.

“The motion and the crux of it is that we were not consulted,” Leigh added. “We need to be consulted. We need to tell them so this doesn’t keep happening. People are out there, their lives are being decimated and they have no input on this decision that’s happening right now. Our MP is talking to the federal fisheries minister right now, and I’m afraid that we’re not going to get the point of view of the local communities across to the minister. I’m very afraid of that because it does affect a lot of people.”

SRD staff will prepare a letter to be sent to the Prime Minister, Minister of Fisheries, MLA and MP.

RELATED: Open-net salmon farms on their way out of B.C. waters

Mayors asking to be let in on fish farm consultations



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Fish FarmsLocal NewsStrathcona Regional District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

The candidates in the recent municipal by-election say while they’re disappointed with the voter turnout, most are intending to take another run at a seat in 2022. Black Press File Photo
Candidates lament low voter turnout in Campbell River municipal by-election

Many say they will still be putting their names forward again in the future, however

BC Rent Bank helps people stay out of homelessness. Black Press stock photo
BC Rent Bank pitched for Campbell River

Program provides loans to keep people housed

Comox Strathcona Waste Management is planning webinars for the public to see the preliminary designs for the new composting facility. Photo CSWM
Preliminary designs for CSWM composting facility released

CSWM wants feedback on designs, holding two webinars next week

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read