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

Surrey celebrates multiculturalism with annual Fusion Festival

The two-day festival returns to Holland Park

RCMP investigate two shootings in Surrey

Incidents happened in Whalley, Newton

Surrey Board of Trade fears SkyTrain expansion will impede other transit needs

‘We need transit improvements in all of Surrey,’ Anita Huberman says

Public hearing set for two Surrey modular housing projects for homeless

Surrey council set to vote Monday on projects in Guildford, Whalley

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Most Read