Following government’s decision to phase out salmon farming activities in the Discovery Islands, North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has been working through the holidays, reaching out to mayors, major salmon farm operators, workers and the Minister of Fisheries to bring more certainty and good jobs to our communities.
“The announcement came just a week before Christmas, and it has shaken people in our communities who work in aquaculture and rely on the industry to keep food on their families’ tables and a roof over their heads,” said Blaney. “As member of parliament for North Island-Powell River, my priority is to support the many workers, families, and communities that are facing deep concerns and uncertainty over the holidays and heading into the new year.”
The federal Department of Fisheries’ decision was announced Dec. 17 and follows work done by the Cohen Commission, as well as the Broughton agreement between First Nations, the province, and industry. It was the result of nation-to-nation consultations between the Government of Canada and the seven First Nations whose territory includes the Discovery Islands.
“In times like these, it can be easy to drive divisions between us. People are worried about their jobs and their future, and feel that the work they take pride in is under attack. But all of us who live in the communities that dot our coastlines share a love and respect for wild salmon and our oceans. And we all share a desire to be able to keep raising and supporting our families here,” said Blaney. “I will continue – as I have as long as I have served as MP – to listen, to learn, to promote good management and stewardship of the land and sea where we live, and to fight for local jobs and the diversification of our economies.”