fbpx
Connect with us

News

BC salmon farms get reprieve on stocking ban

Federal judge overrides fisheries minister’s order

mm

Published

on

BC salmon farms are temporarily off the hook after a Federal Court judge suspended a ban on restocking a trio of fish farms in British Columbia’s Discovery Islands.

The ban would cause Mowi Canada West and Saltstream irreparable harm if they were unable to restock farms located at Doctor Bay, Phillips Arm and off Hardwicke Island, Justice Peter George Pamel said in his April 5 decision.

The suspension is in response to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s announcement in December that nearly 20 fish farms in the area off norther Vancouver Island’s east coast would be phased out by summer 2022 and no new fish could be transferred to the farms in the interim.

That resulted in a February cull by Mowi when nearly one million year-and-a-half old juvenile salmon from its Discovery Islands were destroyed.

Experts said those salmon represented about three million meals, and instead became fertilizer.

At the time, head veterinarian Terra MacDonald, in charge of the cull, said she was not pleased.

“These fish are healthy, they have good welfare, they’re not carrying a disease and so to see them have to be euthanized is really difficult,” she said.

“I’m not generally in the business of killing healthy fish.”

Pamel’s decision noted fish farms say the transfer of fish is an essential part of operations, and they would remove the fish when their licences expire, pending a proposed judicial review of the decision.

Pamel also noted the consequences for local communities eclipse any evidence he heard on the environmental impacts of fish farming. Fisheries Department investigations found the farms pose “no more than a minimal risk” to wild salmon stocks.

“The harm to Mowi and Saltstream, as well as their employees, their families and other businesses in the community, in particular First Nations businesses, will be real and substantial if the injunction is not granted,” Pamel said in his decision.

Farmed salmon are raised in freshwater hatcheries, then, after a year, are transferred to open-net nurseries, and then are transferred again to other open-net pen site until they reach harvest size.

Evidence at the hearing included Mowi asserting it would suffer financially — to the tune of about $26 million — be forced to lay off close to 80 employees and cancel local contracts if it was forced to cull 1.18 million salmon smolts instead of transferring them to the Discovery Island farms.

BC open net fish farms have long been a contentious issue in the province.

Among the claims are the farms are injurious to wild stocks, cause disease and are an environmental blight.

However, the main opposition to open-net salmon farms is the worry they transmit sea lice and viruses to wild salmon.

The industry has has worked hard to improve its management of sea lice outbreaks, and at the end of September, Fisheries and Oceans Canada released findings of several scientific studies of nine pathogens, including the piscine orthoreovirus, and concluded that they pose “minimal risk” to wild salmon. 

The Cohen Commission — established In 2009 to conduct an inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River — concurred, saying, in part: “Late last year the DFO assessed all scientific research done in the decade since and concluded the pathogens found on farms pose no more than a minimal risk … the science indicated salmon farms are not harming wild salmon populations.”

Jordan’s order to phase out fish farms in the Discovery Islands affects about 30 per cent of Mowi Canada’s operation in B.C., and would have a financial impact of close to $200 million. Saltstream, a smaller operation that has a lone salmon farm in the area, would also be affected.

Fast facts:

• 24 per cent of B.C.’s salmon farming sector — where 600 workers produce 45,000 tonnes of sustainable farm-raised Atlantic salmon each year — could be shut down;

• That means 1,535 BC jobs are lost;

• Gone too is $21.5 million in annual tax revenue;

• As many as 10.7 million salmon would have to be euthanized;

• 267 suppliers of goods and services — representing $20.47 million in trade — will be affected.

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

Mike D'Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard. He worked as an investigative crime reporter at the Calgary & Winnipeg Suns. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

News

Third wall built around GraceLife Church as protesters gather

A large protest, and possible outdoor service, are expected at the site Sunday morning.

mm

Published

on

Authorities have put a third fence around the GraceLife Church hoping to keep out crowds expected to gather Sunday morning.

AHS, with the help of RCMP, raided the church, in Spruce Grove, Wednesday morning erecting the initial barricades. The third level of defence was put up Saturday.

On Sunday morning, about 100 people gathered at the furthest barricade which was manned by more than as dozen police officers.

Protesters sang songs and hymns and yelled at the police.

One woman asked for her son to be allowed to go into the church to use the washroom. She was refused and launched a torrent of abuse against the police.

The church, under Pastor James Coates, had repeatedly violated COVID-19 laws by holding packed services with hundreds of people.

Coates turned himself into the RCMP and served more than a month in jail before being released with a $1,500 fine and a tongue-lashing from the judge.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro personally approved the AHS-RCMP raid and barricading of the Grace Life Church according to a UCP MLA that spoke to the Western Standard on condition of anonymity. Shandro has denied the story.

A large protest, and possible outdoor service, are expected at the site Sunday morning.

This story will be updated as the Sunday events happen.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading

News

Jivraj admits planting fake stories with Press Progress, CBC

Under oath, Jivraj admitted he was a long-time informant for Press Progress, the de facto media arm of the NDP.

mm

Published

on

Western Standard News editor Dave Naylor has spent two weeks investigating the story of Caylan Ford. Ford seemed a rising political star – intelligent, photogenic and a working mother. She was recruited by Jason Kenney to run provincial for the UCP.

Ford seemed to be on the path to stardom when she was shot down in flames by rumours and planted news stories in a NDP-linked news site.

Ford blames one man for her downfall – Kiram Javrij. 

Over the next week, Naylor will tell their story backed with court documentation and interviews.

Karim Jivraj, under testimony during a deposition, detailed just how complex his undercover harassment of UCP candidate Caylan Ford, and other women was.

Under withering questioning by Ford’s Lawyer, R.E. Harrison, Javrij admitted to planting fake stories with the NDP-linked Press Progress and the CBC.

In October 2018, Jivraj wrote a letter accusing Ford of committing “residency fraud” and claimed she was ineligible to stand as a candidate for election in the riding of Calgary Mountainview.

“He asked nine members of my constituency association board to sign the letter, but did not sign it himself,” said Ford in an exclusive interview with the Western Standard.

“Then he sent it to the media, and invited journalists to report on his allegations. Press Progress did.”

The following is a portion of the Q and A between Harrison and Jivraj.

Harrison: You say that you helped author the letter?
A: Yes.

Harrison then ask Jivraj who else on the board helped author the letter to then UCP Executive Director Janice Harrington.

Q: Now, after authoring the letter, you circulated it to the other board directors to seek their signatures?

A: Yes. I — I and others circulated it.

Read Javrij’s letter to the Mountainview board

Harrison then got Jivraj to admit he didn’t sign the letter he letter. Jivraj then detailed how he was the one who sent the letter to the NDP-linked news website, Press Progress.

Q: The October 13, 2018, article from Press Progress is entitled “UCP Constituency Association Accuses Jason Kenney’s Handpicked ‘Parachute Candidate’ of Breaking Party Rules.” Do you see that.

A: Yeah.

Q: Do you recognize this article?

A: Yes.

Q: Now, do you know who sent the October 1, 2018, letter to Press Progress?

A: I believe I did.

In November 2018, Jivraj purchased Google attack ads on searches of Ford’s name. These ads included a fabricated quotation, which Jivraj attributed to Ford. Harrison asked Jivraj who bought them.

A: I’m not sure if “purchase” is the right word. I received a free $50 budget on Google Ads, and so that was used for this. So there was no monetary investment.”

Q: Okay. So these ads were posted by you?

A: Yes.

In November 2018, Jivraj used a pseudonymous email account to send defamatory statements about Ford to 1,300 of her electors. The emails included another fabricated quotation which he attributed to Ford.

Q: You see the last attack ad has a quote: “My family has lived in southwest Calgary for generations. I could never live in north Calgary. Anywhere above the Bow is basically a suburb.” Do you see that quotation?

A: Yes

Q: Did you create that quotation?

A: I don’t believe so.

Q: Where did you get that quotation from?

A: I’m not sure. I think Ms. Ford may have said something along those lines when I was looking for a place in Calgary.

Q: You’re aware that Ms. Ford has lived in the neighbourhood of Sunnyside?

A: I became aware of that afterward.

Q: And why did these attack — why did these ads link to Press Progress?

A : That’s a good question. I don’t know.

Under oath, Jivraj admitted he was a long-time informant for Press Progress, the de facto media arm for the NDP.

Q: Did you email or call PressProgress to disclose this conversation?

A: I can’t recall. I don’t — I can’t recall if I reached out directly to Press Progress. I think the — what initiated the cycle of events was my meeting, my physical meeting at (Calgary coffee shop) Vendome.

Q: What I want to know is whether you phoned Press Progress to provide them with the contents of the conversation or provide them information

A: I can’t recall.

Q: Why did Press Progress call you out of the blue as you’ve insinuated.

Jivraj admits he has been in contact with Press Progress previously to discuss provincial and federal politics.

Q: OK, How many times would you have spoken with Press Progress previously to their phone call to you?

A: Again, I don’t want to guess, but several, several times.

Jivraj admits he has been in contact with Press progress since 2015. Ford herself then jumps into the questioning, asking Jivraj about his dealings with the CBC.

CBC Logo (photo credit CBC)

Ford: Did you disclose additional private messages between yourself and me to the CBC?

A: Yes

Ford: Have you created any other pseudonymous Twitter accounts?

A: Yeah. In my various political activities, yes, I’ve created many.

Ford is suing Jivraj, Press Progress and several media outlets for a total of $7 million.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

The saga of Karim Jivraj’s campaign against Ford and other conservative women is just too incredible to be told in a single feature article.

That’s why the Western Standard decided to break it down into a series, which will dive into several of the actions taken by Jivraj. It’s a story we did not believe until we obtained the evidence.

COMING NEXT: Tap on back leads to assault allegations from Rivraj against Ford

PREVIOUSLY: 
How a Conservative candidate worked with the NDP to bring down star UCP candidate
Tory candidate admits using a fake Twitter account to spread false sexual rumours
Jivraj admits to undercover online campaigns against women

Continue Reading

News

EXCLUSIVE: UCP MLA says Shandro approved barricading GraceLife Church

But a spokesman for Shandro denied any involvement by the minister.

mm

Published

on

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro personally approved the AHS-RCMP raid and barricading of the Grace Life Church according to a UCP MLA that spoke to the Western Standard on condition of anonymity.

RCMP and Alberta Health Services conducted a Wednesday dawn raid on the church in Spruce Grove, Alberta after it repeatedly refused to comply to lockdown and capacity orders from the government.

“Shandro directly signed off on the raid,” said the MLA.

The MLA said the public backlash against the raid has rocked the government, and they are considering removing the wall before an expected large service is held there Sunday.

But a spokesman for Shandro denied any involvement by the minister.

“Minister Shandro did not direct or sign off this action. The law gives AHS independent authority to carry out such an action. The Minister is not required to sign off on enforcement activity such as seen at GraceLife, nor did he sign off. “

The move against the church came the day after Alberta Premier Jason Kenney threw the province back into a COVID-19 lockdown for the third time, discarding the policy of phased reopening based on measurable targets.

The move infuriated even members of his own caucus, with 17 UCP MLAs signing a public letter denouncing Kenney.

Another UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney will be the subject of an early party leadership review.

“Caucus is in total chaos,” said the MLA, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A new Angus Reid poll this week showed a whopping 75% of Albertans oppose Kenney’s handling of the pandemic, including those that believe he has gone too far in restrictions, and those who believe that he hasn’t gone far enough.

Former federal Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day the Alberta government for barricading the GraceLife Church, saying it would bring “gleeful howls” from dictators around the world.

The church’s pastor, James Coates recently spent 35 days in the Edmonton Remand Centre after refused to agree to stop preaching as a condition of his bail.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Share

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard New Media Corp.