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Northwest B.C. MP steps into new deputy critic role for fisheries and oceans

He will prioritize better consultation, fisheries reconciliation and science-based decision making
Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach, right, poses with party leader Jagmeet Singh at an NDP fundraiser event at the Highliner Hotel and Conference Centre in Prince Rupert Oct. 28. (Photo: Thom Barker/Smithers Interior News)

New representation from B.C.’s northwest will be critiquing the federal government’s decisions about fisheries, oceans and the coastguard.

Taylor Bachrach, Skeena-Bulkley MP, was appointed to be the NDP’s deputy critic for fisheries and oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the political party announced on Feb. 6.

He will work alongside the NDP’s critic, Lisa Marie Barron, Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, focused on a portfolio of Canada’s oceans, marine ecosystems and coastal jobs.

“Our ocean and watersheds are a precious legacy and while fisheries issues are complex, I believe we have an opportunity to come together around a vision of restored abundance,” Bachrach said.

“That’s what makes me excited about this work: the idea that if we make good decisions, future generations will be able to benefit and thrive on our coasts and rivers.”

He said he will be prioritizing “fisheries reconciliation, owner-operator reforms, science-based decision making and better consultation with affected communities.”

Bachrach will also support removing salmon farms from the ocean, protecting the coast from shipping container spills and cruise ship dumping.

Last November, the Skeena-Bulkley MP called out the Liberal government for not following through on a single point of the 20 recommendations made by a committee on fisheries and oceans to reform the west coast fishery. He said he believed there are core principles everyone should agree on.

“Commercial fishing licences should not be treated like a private stock market controlled by big corporations; the maximum value of the fish that get caught should go to the people who do the work and B.C.’s catch should be processed in B.C. communities.”

Bachrach said he is honoured to take on the new role and represent Northwest B.C.

“I know how vital sound fisheries management and marine protection is to our communities. I look forward to holding the federal government to account for the changes that are needed.”

This new role is in addition to his position as the NDP’s transportation critic.

READ MORE: Wainwright Marine Service Ltd. faces 8 charges in Prince Rupert Court after 2 deaths in sinking of tugboat

 Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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