It’s been brought to my attention that the Vancouver Sun recently ran a story called “Women of Influence” and notable by her absence was Alexandra Morton, the tireless fighter against fish farms and for the protection of our wild salmon.
I’m not going to replay all of Alex’s achievements because even with the biases of the crumbling Canwest empire, she’s known to the people that count as the most influential woman in BC and has been for more than a decade.
She has taken her fight throughout BC and in the place where they plot the destruction of our fish, Norway. She has marched and paddled throughout the province and done it all on a shoestring.
Originally from the US, Alex came to BC and her beloved Broughton Archipelago to watch Killer Whales. She fell in love with a Canadian whale watcher and married here. She was put to a test few of us could endure – her husband drowned before her eyes and those of their four year old son.
Based on what she was told from First Nations people, she found an unbelievable number of sea lice in the waters of the Broughton Archipelago and soon saw the destruction they were causing with migrating Pink and Chum salmon smolts. She tested and was threatened with arrest for illegal testing by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans who weren’t doing their job of testing and lost face when this doughty woman did it for them.
Starting from scratch, her findings and papers were validated by almost every independent fisheries scientist in the world, a fact that didn’t faze the BC government – who were licensing and “policing” the fish farms – at least in part because the media wasn’t covering it, preferring to cover up for rapacious Norwegian Companies who were decimating our salmon making huge profits which went into bank accounts in Oslo. I can say with great pride that the only media coverage she got – and it was from the beginning – was from my radio show. I bear with pride the fact that I was fired at least once over my coverage.
In fact, the main media, when they did cover this issue, made their op-ed page available, apparently on request, to nit wits like Patrick Moore, the failed fish farmer and environmental traitor and the flack for the fish farms, Mary Ellen Walling who is permitted to publish rubbish stating it to be science..
Month after month, Alex would have her work published by scientific papers without even a sidebar note in the Canwest papers. Month after month her work would be validated by the world’s top scientists in the field without a line about it in the Sun or Province.
In the papers that once carried the most courageous columnists of their time, current columnists in the Sun and the Province acted as if Alex and the sea lice issue simply didn’t exist. Lately, the Canwest papers, unable to ignore any more, have covered the issue as if it just happened 6 months ago and they were on the cutting edge!
It would be comforting to say that this lack of coverage didn’t matter but it did. Thousands of British Columbians who depend upon these rags for their news didn’t know about Alex and what she was doing. This meant that there was no pressure on the government or the NDP opposition to raise the issue. Hundreds of thousands of fish have been destroyed as their migration began yet the “establishment” and their captive media are unconcerned that their lack of coverage was contributing greatly to this ongoing calamity.
What you say can be very damaging; even more damaging is what you don’t say, ignoring vital facts.
Alexandra Morton was recently invested with an honorary degree by Simon Fraser university, a university with courage to honour a woman who consistently pisses off the government whose money they depend upon.
Alexandra Morton must know, and we must all tell her, that she is THE woman of influence in British Columbia and so say the thousands of people flocking to her colours to join the many thousand others who support this courageous citizen.