This week, biologist Alexandra Morton announced that she has learned that the fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago are on leases that have long ago expired. In a move combining defiance and a wicked sense of humour Alex has applied for the leases which she will devote to returning the ocean bed “to their natural state to grow wild fish to the much greater benefit of British Columbians and the BC economy”.
This Crown Land is public land that the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MAL) leases to people and companies. MAL is also in charge of regulating the salmon feedlots. Even for this government, the arrogance is breathtaking.
What sort of hold have these Norwegian fish farm companies got on this government? What is the explanation for this utter and absolute giveaway of Crown land to foreign companies to use virtually free while their operations wipe out wild salmon stocks year after year? No one, least of all I, would accuse this government, its leader or any member of it of corruption but it must be said that if these circumstances prevailed somewhere else, in the absence of a rational explanation, one would have to suspect hanky panky of some sort.
The situation is getting desperate. The federal fisheries minister Gail Shea comes to BC and announces $637,678 in funding to support innovation and sustainability in the aquaculture industry in British Columbia. This from the press release –
“This investment supports the British Columbia aquaculture industry in developing projects that are more innovative, sustainable and competitive in the international aquaculture playing field,” said Minister Shea. “I am pleased by the range of projects in this province that are receiving funding under DFO’s Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP). It demonstrates the scope and potential of the industry, its focus on environmental stewardship, and the economic benefits it offers to coastal communities”.
Gag me with a spoon! Has this half wit and her colleague John Duncan (recently raised to cabinet once more exhibiting the truth of the Peter Principle) the gall to come to this province and reward those who would wipe out natural fish stocks so they can grow other inferior and often alien species to their profit and the loss of the citizenry at large!
Then we have the Liberal leader, Dr Ignatieff, who comes to town and the only news about fish farms that came out of this Liberal tentative tiptoe into the wilds of far off British Columbia was that the local Libs couldn’t even get a pallid excuse for a resolution controlling fish farms onto the agenda for the national convention.
Thus we have the Harper government appointing a half wit to run our fisheries and the Liberals can’t even get the fish farms discussed at the convention.
Again, I would be the last one to suggest any monkey business but if you were told that this sort of thing happened, say in the State of Alaska (where they have banned fish farms – I use this just as an example) the first thought to cross your mind, I daresay, would be that the fix was in.
What are we to do in this province? Simply stand around and watch as our governments, federal and provincial, acceded to by the Federal Liberal opposition, give away – not sell but give away our resources to the United States wreaking havoc to the oceans and rivers from which they were taken?
No one, especially Canadians, want to disobey authority but what other option do we have? Are we just to stand aside and watch the open theft? These bastards, the fish farmers and their getaway car drivers in Ottawa and Vancouver are like bank robbers, not content to just take the money and run but blow up the bank as they go!
We live in a country where crooks like Allan Eagleson, Conrad Black and Brian Mulroney get Orders of Canada, where the man who set up the terms of reference for the investigation into Mulroney so as to prevent the Inquiry asking why he was paid that money in the hotel room was ewarded with the Governor-General’s sinecure and tries to throw Alexandra Morton in prison.
To their great credit, Simon Fraser University, known for waving the middle finger at the establishment upon which they rely for funds, recently awarded a Doctorate to Alexandra Morton and did so in plain language telling the world what she had done for her adopted province.
Thank God we have at least one public institution in this country with a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong and the courage to behave accordingly.