Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN -- Many of the responses we have heard from industry, to the Liberals’ campaign announcement for the west coast, is deflection and distraction - it’s interference

Following the Liberal Party of Canada’s platform announcement that they are going to shutter the open-net fish farm industry by 2025 transitioning it to closed-containment, I wrote a post stating my skepticism.

Another result of that announcement has been a daily flow of emails from the Google Alert that I have tracking “fish farms.”

With the Liberals making this a platform priority, hopefully with more sincerity than “this will be the last election under first-past-the-post” -- and -- “there is no more important relationship than the one with Indigenous people”, the salmon farming industry has been furiously publishing articles about their opposition to this promise.

Needless to say, the industry is extremely unhappy with this commitment from the Liberals. There are now a majority of federal political parties that have committed to acting on transitioning the salmon farming industry to land-based systems.

Fish farms have no social license

Video of deformed salmon, sea lice outbreaks, pipes flushing massive amounts of blood-water into the ocean, and a battle between scientists over disease and the negative impact on wild salmon have all contributed to a growing tension on the west coast.

At the end of the day, the fish farming industry has lost its social license in British Columbia and this platform commitment from the Liberals is just the latest proof of that.

It’s not even the rural / urban wedge that industry representatives want to drive into the communities in our province. It’s a matter of profit. This is really about the ability of multi-national corporations to freely pollute the environment.

The cost of that pollution is borne out by British Columbians, it’s put on the coastal communities. This is the externality - the costs of operating the business that can be omitted as long as we allow industry to continue to treat the environment like a garbage dump.

When the industry complains that the cost of moving to a closed containment, land-based, or recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), is going to increase their cost, what they are saying is that they don’t want to internalize the externalities. They make less profit when they are forced to actually deal with the mess they create.

So when we see a vessel pumping huge volumes of fatty, pink liquid into the ocean following the farmed salmon die-off in Atlantic Canada, and the industry response is essentially “don’t worry, it’s all good because it’s organic matter”, they are running interference.

Many of the responses we have heard from industry to the Liberals’ campaign announcement for the west coast is deflection and distraction - it’s interference.

For the past two years, the BC NDP government has been under tremendous pressure to not renew fish farm tenures and work with the federal government to push industry to make the transition. I and my BC Green colleagues have been amplifying the pressure on government as well.

Transitioning to the changing landscape
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and their elected leaders have been reluctant. However, with the recent campaign announcement, it should be clear to the industry that the landscape has changed. British Columbians do not accept the industry’s excuses as to why we should allow them to continue to profit from our ruin.

The industry did not take seriously the calls two years ago that they should be moving quickly on the transition from open-net systems to closed containment or RAS. They have lost two years and a lot of goodwill.

Now they are saying that the five years the Liberals are giving them is not long enough. The clock is ticking and every moment wasted now is a moment they may wish they had later.

Let’s move much quicker from threats and interference to working together to make this transition happen.

If the multi-nationals are not willing to make the change, someone else will and, in the short-term, government must be part of the solution.

Adam Olsen ... is a Green Party Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Saanich North and the Islands. Born in Victoria, BC in 1976, Adam has lived, worked and played his entire life on the Saanich Peninsula. He is a member of Tsartlip First Nation (W̱JOȽEȽP), where he and his wife, Emily, are raising their two children, Silas and Ella.


Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su


Show more