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There is a coming together of environmentalists unprecedented in my memory and much of the impetus will come from those opposed to fish farms and to the government rivers policy. This is a natural alliance since both deal with rights to water and healthiness of fish although the emphasis might be different from group to group – indeed amongst individuals.

Coalitions are difficult to put together and even more difficult to keep together and wise environmentalists know that. The way to go is find common ground and common assets that can be to the benefit of all. I believe that opponents to fish farms and private power can do much in common with the Wilderness Committee which has done so much to help to help in the rivers cause and against fish farms over the past couple of years. I believe a new umbrella group called the Salmon Circle will play a great role as will the BC Wildlife Federation. If the Campbell autocracy believes the election decided the environmental issues he’s in for a very big surprise.

Oddly enough, in a backhanded way, the victory of the Liberals on May 12 last has made organizing opposition easier. Before May 12 Liberals who opposed fish farms and private power were loath to support the NDP and either held their noses and voted Liberal or stayed at home. This constitutes a large mass of potential support for our cause.

The issues are not complicated though the government wants you to think they are.

The sea lice from salmon farms are destroying Pink, Chum and Sockeye smolts. This is no longer a scientific issue and hasn’t been one for some years.

Private power destroys rivers, their fish and the general ecology they maintain; the power produced is mostly at a time we don’t need it thus will be sold to the US. Because of the sweetheart deals BC Hydro has been forced to make with private power companies they will have to export at a huge loss and therefore are condemned to bankruptcy; private power has virtually no impsct on BC’s power requirements.

In both cases the government, its ministers and the premier are lying through their teeth and that is very easy to prove.

On the power side the government and their Charlie McCarthy’s make out that increasing the capacity of the gas powered Burrard Thermal will damage the environment. If anyone were suggesting that Burrard Thermal in fact produce more power that would be another matter. But no one, including the BC Utilities is considering increasing the output of Burrard Thermal. This is how the government deceives us. Campbell says BCUC wants Burrard Thermal to expand so we’re going to get rid of it making it appear that they’re good little boys and girls fighting for the climate.

It’s essential to know what Burrard Thermal does. Where I live, Lions Bay, we often have power outages for several days so many have bought a small gas fired generator to give them power when they can’t get it from their power switch. Isn’t that just prudence? Would Mr. Campbell say that we simply freeze to death (these power outages nearly always follow foul weather). The generators aren’t used when the power switch works and similarly as a province we use Burrard Thermal when normal power isn’t fully available. The government’s position and that of its lackeys want to deceive the public.

It’s the same with the fish farmers. One of the raw lies put out by industry and government alike is that the lice attacking the wild salmon are not the same kind as in fish farms.

Here’s what Alexandra Morton says about this allegation  …

Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s statements regarding sea lice, sockeye and fish farms are increasingly misguiding.  … the statement is not only untrue it is just plain stupid given that Marine Harvest posts their sea lice data on the web.

Yes, there are two species of sea lice predominately infecting salmon on this coast, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, the salmon louse which is the largest, and Caligus clemensi, a species that can exist on species of fish other than salmon which makes Caligus a little harder to track.  We have found that young sockeye are most often infected with Caligus, although we see Lepeophtheirus on them as well.

Both Caligus and Lepeophtheirus are recorded in Marine Harvest’s sea lice counts and posted on their website …if you go to its site you can click on each far site and get pdfs such as I have attached.  It becomes immediately apparent that farm fish have both species of lice.”

With more and more people examining these issues not from a party political point of but with the eyes of British Columbians wanting to preserve our heritage, government and industry deceit becomes more and more obvious.

In 1983 a freshly elected Socred Government ran on a restraint program winning a near landslide. When they brought in “restraint” legislation a large portion of the population objected to such an extent that the government had to back down.

In 2009 the issues are far, far graver than in 1983 and when the public rises in anger, as it will, I predict there will very substantial changes indeed.

One Response to “Coming together on fish farms and private power”

  1. There’s also alot of people very, very unhappy about the HST tax.

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