MPs upset over lack of transition plan

Crying foul over fish

A pair of Conservative MPs are blasting the federal Liberals over salmon farms.

In a joint letter, North Okanagan-Shuswap Mel Arnold and Richard Bragdon, Conservative Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard said they have “serious concerns regarding the announcement of your decision to phase out salmon farming licences in the Discovery Islands.”
The fish farms were ordered closed without consultation with the communities that are impacted.

“Your decision has had, and will continue to have, significant negative impacts on British Columbia’s salmon farm operators, their workers and the families and communities that depend on them. The pandemic has already made this past year difficult, reminding us all of the importance of local food security and good local jobs. Within this context, your government’s decisions and policies have added uncertainty to the lives of thousands of Canadian workers and their employers, including those affected by your Discovery Islands decision,” the letter stated.

The letter states people were “blindsided” by the decision and “it is particularly shocking that you would make this announcement without proper consultation” with local officials.

The letter said the move “will also undoubtedly send a chill throughout the aquaculture industry and cause major employers to reconsider investing in Canada.”

The MPs said the shutdown would impact nearly 6,500 jobs.

“Your government’s failure to secure a softwood lumber agreement with the United States continues to decimate jobs in British Columbia’s forestry sector. Your government’s pandemic failures have hurt British Columbia’s tourism sector, which was already reeling from successive rounds of restrictions from your government that undermined our Pacific sportfishing sector.

“Open net-pen finfish producers in the Discovery Islands, their employees and their communities need to know what plan your government is offering to support them in the long-term,” stated the letter.

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