Monthly Archives: March 2012

Angry rabble should be held accountable for threats

The “Salmon are Sacred” rabble showed their true colours on Thursday, when about 30 people did their best to intimidate, insult and verbally abuse a delegation of visitors from Norway and their hosts.

The delegation came to British Columbia to have a private meeting with First Nations, facilitated by the Aboriginal Aquaculture Association who’s membership includes several dozen coastal Nations. However, because of safety concerns prompted by comments made on the Salmon are Sacred site, suggesting the group should get a sniper to shoot the delegates, the venue was changed at the last minute.

Despite the precaution, when the delegation’s bus arrived at the new venue, protestors were there including former Greenpeacer Rod Marining, who made it his mission to block the bus, and then prevent the delegation from getting off the bus by blocking the door. The delegation had to phone for help from inside the bus before they could get off.

Despite their claims of being “peaceful,” the rabble was rude, aggressive, and disrespectful as they shouted hateful slogans at the delegation, and insulted the First Nations who accompanied them.

And later that evening, the rabble took to their Facebook page to spew more hatred towards the delegation and towards salmon farmers, posting more threatening comments, this time suggesting that firebombing salmon farms would be a good way to get rid of them.

Protest is a healthy part of democracy, and “Salmon are Sacred” followers are welcome to protest salmon farming. But their aggressive, rude and threatening behaviour is exactly that; rude and threatening. Despite what they may say, not one member of this group is interested in dialogue. In fact, the leader had distanced herself from any collaborative discussion with salmon farmers years ago.

This small group of angry people does not represent the majority of British Columbians. And the most unstable and violent members of this group need to be held accountable for their threats.

Mr. Smith, There is no Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) virus in the waters of British Columbia

In his long winded, conspiracy laden, rant to Keith Ashfield (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and the Gerry Ritz (Minister of Agriculture Canada), letter writer Gaye Smith doesn’t seem to be able to take “no” for an answer. That is, “there is no Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) virus in the waters of British Columbia”.

Despite the fact Mr. Smith can’t get his names straight (‘Gary’ Ritz) or acronyms right (‘ASI’) he says he understands “basic biological science”. That is, he says, BC farms Atlantic salmon and Atlantic salmon have been known to host ISA in other parts of the world, therefore BC must have ISA and it must have come from farmed Atlantic salmon.

So, even though 7000+ farmed Atlantic salmon have tested negative for the virus over the past decade, and even though not one wild salmon has tested positive for the virus, and even though the Atlantic salmon was introduced to the Northwest Pacific Ocean a hundred years ago (70 years before salmon farming started in Washington state and BC), Mr. Smith is sure he knows it’s here and where it came from. Really?

As Chair of the now defunct Temagami Stewardship Council (TSC)  in Ontario, Mr. Smith has worked hard to protect the Temagami watershed and, in his words, “had accomplished an amazing resume”. Good for him and we applaud the hard work of watershed stewards around the globe.

Perhaps Mr. Smith can apply that same energy he afforded the Temagami Stewardship Council and apply some critical thinking that would help him understand more about the facts regarding ISA and about salmon farming in British Columbia.