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.

BC legislatureSalmon farming

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

Just Posted

With wildfire season approaching, here are some tips to be ‘FireSmart’ this year

Q & A with Lindsay King, FireSmart Educator for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako

New Salt Boutique the realization of a vision for owner Caroline Marko

Marko combines the rough and the soft in a minimalist, clean airy space

Dr. Bonnie Henry given a Gitxsan name: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

COVID-19: B.C. church services resume with public health limits

Maximum 50 in large spaces, Premier John Horgan says

Chilliwack school board censures trustee Barry Neufeld after controversial Facebook post

Board chair issues statement on censure but little else regarding Facebook post controversy

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Most Read