North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney (Supplied by Blaney's office)
North Island and Powell River MP Rachel Blaney isn’t happy with the Liberal government.
She says they’re backpedalling on an election promise to remove British Columbia’s open net salmon farms in five years’ time.
“Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me,” Blaney says. “I think about how many promises they’ve made to our region and not followed through and this seems like another one.”
This is a trend she’s noticed again and again.
“They say one thing and then they do another and people are left not knowing. There’s not a lot of certainty or clarity and we’re always back to trying to figure out in our communities how to address these issues in a positive way.”
According to Blaney, there’s currently no plan in place for the region regarding the protection of wild salmon.
She says this has been a big concern for people and that many have been empowered to take leadership roles monitoring fish farms.
DFO is still playing a dual role as “the protector of wild salmon while also looking at how to keep the health and well being of wild salmon,” Blaney says. “But, they’re also supposed to promote fish farming. Both the industry and activists have said those two rules need to be separated.”
In Campbell River, she adds that a plan around the well being of wild salmon and wildlife in the water has been long called for.
“There’s also been a call for more staff from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans actually here on the ground doing the work that needs to be done. There are some great people in our area doing that work but there’s not enough.”
Blaney says there’s been a call surrounding restoration as well.
“When we look at all of the factors of these issues, there’s many of those factors just not being addressed at all. So, it’s building a lot of frustration from people. I’m expecting with the federal government making this decision, I’ll definitely be hearing a lot of concern about it in my office.”