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We learn from the morning excuses for Vancouver Papers that the provincial government is hiding back reports of the impact of sea lice from fish farms on wild salmon. Why should we be surprised? The government has steadfastly refused to face up to this issue on the old standby political position of saying and doing nothing.

The government of BC’s handling of this issue has been disgraceful.

As soon as Gordon (Pinocchio) Campbell took office he began to deal with the moratorium the NDP had placed on the development of new fish farms. He started by returning all fines paid by fish farms for shoddy practices.

Then in full possession of the facts about Atlantic salmon escaping and crowding wild salmon off the spawning beds AND in full knowledge of the terrible impact of lice from fish farms on wild salmon smolts, he lifted the moratorium. For nine years Campbell and his ministers have maintained that fish farms were safe in the face of all the independent evidence to the contrary. The only fair description of the Campbell government is that they lied through their teeth.

In this prevaricating policy the Canwest media were in their camp. The fish farmers PR flack had steady access to their op-ed pages. First class writers on these two papers, writers who specialized in outdoors matters, wouldn’t touch the issue. Bad news about fish farms was buried in sidebar comments. Alexandra Morton, the hero from Echo Bay who started the research into the sea lice problem was ignored while turncoats like Patrick Moore had access to space.

We live in a country that gives Orders of Canada to the likes of Conrad Black, Alan Eagleson and Brian Mulroney and tries to put Alexandra Morton behind bars for “illegal testing”.

On June 17, Alex was honoured with an honourary Doctor of Science at Simon Fraser University. That to me, and I think Alex, was a higher compliment than the highly political Orders of Canada and Orders of BC would ever be.

I, along with many friends and compatriots watched Alex receive her honour and there wasn’t a dry eye amongst us.

Canada could do with fewer Mulroneys, Blacks and Eaglesons and with a hell of a lot more Dr. Alexandra Mortons.

4 Responses to “From Rafe’s desk: Government hiding reports on impact of sea lice”

  1. Jack Masterman says:

    Unfortunately, the media does not report the full facts of a story. They most often go to the “problem” for the answer to an issue.

    There must be a law passed that ALL media must accuratley and completly report on issues. They can not just interview a politician to get an overview of a story……..they should be forced to investigate fully and provide both sides of a story. There should be serious consequences for misleading or partial truth in what they report.

    To report, on the news, that BC is an importer of electricity leads people to think we have a shortage of power. They should be forced to expand such a story to show why BC imports at times and also provide the electrical output of BC generating stations and the consumption of power during the year.

    This is just one of many storys that are reported on with partial truths and I am sure, to get the story out quickly, they just interview a politician or the person who gives a one sided report that misleads those that do not or can not investigate for themselves to arrive at the truth.

    All media should be under a new law that protects BC citizens from half truths, untruths and political “spins” on storys.

  2. Bob says:

    I totally agree that media should be under such a law. Let’s ask the legislature to pass it!

  3. Jane says:

    We need the likes of Jack Webster in the media. At least you could trust what Jack said. The media today gives slanted news. Most lie.

  4. Cym Gomery says:

    Thank you for this article. Alexandra Morton is someone I admire very much. She is a one-woman powerhouse who has accomplished much in her struggle to sensitize the public to the importance and sanctity of wild salmon and to close down fish farms in Canadian waters. And what you say is so true: “Canada could do with fewer Mulroneys, Blacks and Eaglesons and with a hell of a lot more Dr. Alexandra Mortons.”

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