Damien Gillis’ video out of Trondheim, Norway’s recent Aquaculture trade show demonstrates the problem we British Columbians have which simply stated is this – neither of the two major political parties give a fiddler’s fart for the west coast fishery. Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea simply doesn’t concern herself with our plight and I’ve heard nothing from Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff that he indicates that he even knows that we have fish in this neck of the woods.
This is not an unusual situation. The last Fishery Minister who knew his brief was John Fraser who, unhappily, did not stay in the ministry long enough to locate the private loo.
When I was Environment Minister for BC many moons ago I researched the history of Ottawa and the Pacific Fishery. This history is festooned with short term solutions that lasted only until the next crisis. There were reports and studies galore.
Just one example. At one point the fishery was being over fished. The Minister then decided that there were too many boats chasing too many fish so he organized a buy back of licenses. The minister didn’t reckon with the ingenuity of man for in no time flat the boats that remained increased their capacity and we were back where we started!
The political bottom line is this – we will either elect the Tories, who won’t change, or the Liberals who won’t change or the NDP which has no power to change.
Next stop – a dam on the Fraser north of Lytton because there are no fish values to be concerned about.