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Trudeau vows to close netpen salmon farms by 2025, move to land-based
"In British Columbia, we will work with the province to develop a responsible plan to transition from open net pen salmon farming in coastal waters to closed containment systems by 2025," the plan said.
The plan is part of what the party has dubbed "Canada's first-ever Aquaculture Act."
"To keep Canada’s oceans healthy, we will move forward with more investments in marine science and fighting invasive species, and will work with coastal communities, Indigenous communities, and others to better protect fish stocks and marine habitats from changes resulting from climate change," the 85-page document said.
Liberals don’t commit to wild salmon relief package for B.C.
Gord Johns is calling on the federal government to come up with a relief package to deal with the salmon emergency The Courtenay-Alberni MP, who is also the Critic for Fisheries and Oceans, brought the issue up in the House of Commons today. Johns wants that package to include money for both habitat restoration and compensation for fishers affected by the collapse of salmon runs in British Columbia.
“Historic lows in wild salmon returns and the near extinction of some iconic runs require urgent action from this government”, Johns told Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan during Question Period. “The situation has been getting worse, we need new investment now for Pacific wild salmon habitat restoration, enhancement and protection”, he said. Johns has risen in the House of Commons several times this week. In his response to the Throne Speech, he warned the government that the salmon runs in Clayoquot Sound, on the Skeena and Fraser Rivers should cause the declaration of an emergency.
The Fraser is the largest salmon-bearing river in the world.
“Will the Minister let Pacific wild salmon go the way of the Atlantic cod, or will she address this crisis with an emergency relief package?”, he asked Minister Jordan, a Nova Scotia M.P.
She did not commit to putting together an emergency package. Instead, Jordan responded first by thanking her constituents for re-electing her and then congratulating Johns on his re-election.
Jordan eventually responded to the question by saying that wild Pacific salmon is “extremely important to our economy, to our culture in B.C., we know how important it is. That’s why we’ll continue to work with our stakeholder groups, our partners, in order to make sure we continue to work with this important species, and we look forward to working across the way with all members of this house, to deal with these issues.”
2019 saw the worst ever sockeye return numbers on record in B.C.
B.C. Ferries Holiday Sailings
B-C Ferries is adding 171 additional sailings starting December 19th to ease an expected crush of holiday travellers. The ferry service says 128 extra sailings are planned on the Vancouver to Victoria route, and 37 extra sailings will be available on the West Vancouver to Nanaimo route. There are six additional sailings scheduled for the route between West Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast. The additional sailings continue until January 1st.
Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns backs herring fishery moratorium
Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns is supporting a moratorium of the Salish Sea Herring Fishery in 2020.
He said an e-petition is being launched on the House of Commons website.
“The local stakeholders have drafted the petition,” Johns said. “We’re certainly excited to see the local activism and people who are stewards of the ocean and care deeply about this issue, are taking steps necessary to ensure their voices are being heard.”
Conservation groups are calling for a suspension of the fishery until an ecosystem-based management plan is in place, fishermen are compensated, and First Nations rights recognized.
Johns, who is the federal NDP’s critic for fisheries and oceans, said our ecosystem is “under a tremendous amount of pressure.”
He added that we’re seeing a “salmon emergency unfold” in coastal waters and that people are very concerned about the inter-dependent species that salmon rely on for their food.
“Certainly this has come to light with the only herring opening on the Pacific Coast from Oregon to Alaska, and that’s the one in the Salish Sea, where the herring fishery was opened and again, the government… their modelling was wrong and they overfished the only herring fishery that was open on the west coast,” he said.
“People are very concerned about this fishery being opened, especially since it is a reduction fishery, primarily, and (so) people in coastal communities, we’re hearing loud and clear that they’d like to see that fishery suspended until there is a whole of ecosystem-based management plan in place, to make sure that we understand how we’re going to move forward and protect that really keystone species.”
Pacific herring is a key part of the food web in the Salish Sea
It’s the basis for the food web that supports the salmon and killer whales and most of the other mammals, sea birds and other creatures.
Eighty percent of the Chinook salmons’ diet is herring, and over 80 percent of the southern resident killer whales’ diet is Chinook.
Conservancy Hornby Island says that, according to DFO estimates, in October 2019, the herring population dwindled from approximately 129,500 metric tonnes in 2016, to 85,700 tonnes in 2019, and is predicted to fall to 54,242 tonnes in 2020.
The group says this is a reduction of almost 60 percent in four years.
It’s a reduction fishery, Johns said: “Less than 12 percent of it is used for human consumption. The rest of it is used for cat food, animal feed, fertilizer, (and) fish farms. This is unacceptable at a time when our ecosystem is near collapse.”
Johns said he raised these very concerns yesterday in the House of Commons and met with newly appointed fisheries and oceans minister, Bernadette Jordan.
“I also called on her to make the right decision, to listen to local communities, and to protect the ecosystem… take a precautionary approach when it comes to the herring fishery. I expressed to her that the department got it wrong last year, and that they need to do everything they can to protect these herring stocks which are really the foundation and bedrock of our ecosystem.”
Johns also wants to see a plan to look after the herring fishermen affected by a potential closure.
“These fishers are our neighbours, they are community citizens, they are our family members. We want to make sure that the government fully compensates these fishers should they do the right thing, and that is place a moratorium on the herring fishery.”
Baby Bed Program
sland Health is expanding its Baby Bed program to all new families in central and north Vancouver Island to promote safe sleep for babies and strong connections between families and caregivers.
This program expansion is made possible through the support of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, which provided $350,000 over three years as the initiative’s sole funder.
The Baby Bed program provides an infant bed made of heavy cardboard, a mattress, sheets and “onesie” sleepwear. Baby beds are a safe place for babies to sleep – which is vital, given that sleep-related deaths are the leading cause of preventable death in healthy infants. Risk factors include babies lying on their side or stomach, bed-sharing in the presence of additional risk factors such as parental smoking, drug or alcohol use, sleeping in a car seat, swaddling, sleeping on a soft surface and sleeping with blankets or pillows.
“I am excited that Island Health is expanding the Baby Bed program to more regions on Vancouver Island, thanks to the support of Children’s Health Foundation,” says Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
“We are so happy to see Island Health’s Baby Bed program become more widely available across the Island,” says Veronica Carroll, CEO of Children’s Health Foundation. “We hear time and time again how important these packages are for new moms, which give them the tools and knowledge to help their babies thrive. We are very grateful to our donors who make the Foundation’s financial commitment to this much-needed project possible.”
Families in the central and north Island can also register for a baby bed by visiting www.islandhealth.ca/babybed.
December 07, 2019
Looking to start women's hockey for next season if there is enough interest. Any skill level 18 years and up. We need at least 20 committed players minimum and 2 goalies. If you're interested call Sheri at 250.283.9136. I have no internet at home so please call my number. Leave a message with your contact information. Please spread the word.
Cell Service Update
Crews are currently testing the network. This means you may have sporadic cellphone and data service while they bring the system online. The Village will continue to provide more updates as we get them.