Monthly Archives: July 2013

Court upholds Mainstream Canada’s case against activist

Thank you Mainstream Canada !!!

Court upholds Mainstream Canada’s case against activist

Mainstream Canada, Mon, 2013-07-22

Mainstream Canada was vindicated today when the BC Supreme Court of Appeal ruled against anti-salmon farming activist Don Staniford.

The Supreme Court of Appeal also granted Mainstream Canada special costs based on the activist’s behaviour during the trial.

“The appropriate way to punish Mr. Staniford for his reprehensible conduct in the litigation is to award Mainstream special costs against him,” wrote Justice David Tysoe in the judgment handed down this morning.

The company originally took the activist to court because his attack did not just affect Mainstream Canada.

“It affected our employees, their families, our suppliers and our partners. A company is not just its registration number. The soul of a company is its employees, and we need to stand up for them and defend them against malicious and defamatory attacks, and against cyberbullying,” said Laurie Jensen, Mainstream Canada’s Communications and Corporate Sustainability Manager. “We are pleased that the court recognizes that especially in the age of the Internet, public comments need to be backed up by facts.”

Justice Tysoe found that the activist was not eligible for protection under a fair comment defence because he failed to adequately present facts to back up his claims.

“All of the readers of the publications were not in a position to make up their own minds about the merits of what Mr. Staniford said in the publications. Accordingly, one of the elements of the defence of fair comment was not satisfied, and the defence was not available to Mr. Staniford. The judge erred in dismissing Mainstream’s defamation claim,” wrote Justice Tysoe. “I would allow the appeal and set aside the judge’s order dismissing Mainstream’s claim and her costs order. I would grant the injunction requested in Mainstream’s amended notice of civil claim, and I would award Mainstream general damages in the amount of $25,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $50,000. I would award Mainstream special costs of the action and party and party costs of this appeal.”

Today’s judgment upholds Mainstream Canada’s arguments made during the company’s original court case against the activist. The trial, which ran from January 16 to February 10 2012, was responding to a prolonged, malicious, and unfounded attack on Mainstream Canada and its employees.
In the original trial, the judge concluded that Mainstream was a responsible corporate citizen.

“They are conscious of the need to operate the business in a manner consistent with producing a product that is safe to consume and contributes to a healthy and nutritious diet,” the trial judge wrote in her judgment.

The original trial judge also found that the activist’s comments were defamatory and were motivated by express malice toward Mainstream. She described the language in his publications as “extreme, inflammatory, sensationalized, extravagant and violent.”

Today’s judgment shows that while public debate should be encouraged, it should be based on fact, and critics should be held accountable for their public commentary.

Download the full judgment here.

CFIA sets the record straight on ISA testing.

CFIA Statement on Infectious Salmon Anaemia Testing – July 5, 2013

Recent allegations need to be corrected about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) role in the decision to delist the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) as a World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reference laboratory.

In Canada, infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) is a federally reportable disease. This means that all suspected cases must be immediately reported to the CFIA for follow-up investigation and testing. In late 2011, the former OIE reference laboratory at the AVC reportedly found evidence of ISA. 

Because any suspected cases of ISA must be confirmed at a designated federal laboratory, the National Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory, overseen by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), conducted testing of fish samples. The positive test results reported by the AVC were not corroborated by the DFO laboratory.

Due to the differences observed in these test results, the CFIA conducted evaluations of both laboratories to assess their capability to reliably detect the ISA virus in accordance with accepted scientific standards. The evaluation conducted at the AVC identified concerns, which may have led to the questionable ISA test results. This information was shared with the OIE.

The OIE designates reference laboratory status based on a laboratory’s ability to maintain the highest technical and operational standards.  The OIE undertook an independent audit of the AVC after another OIE member country also reported issues related to ISA test results from this laboratory.  The OIE audit, performed by an international panel of scientific experts, found a series of weaknesses affecting the quality of diagnoses performed at the AVC laboratory. The decision to delist this laboratory as an OIE reference laboratory was approved unanimously by the General Assembly of the OIE in May 2013.

The CFIA is committed to protecting the health of wild and farmed fish, and takes reports of ISA seriously. On the east coast of Canada, the CFIA has confirmed, responded to and posted findings of ISA publicly. The CFIA posts reports on all federally reportable diseases including ISA on a monthly basis. 

As part of the CFIA’s multi-year wild salmon disease surveillance initiative in British Columbia (BC), 4175 wild salmon samples were collected directly from BC waters, processing plants and enhancement hatcheries in March 2012. All of the samples have tested negative for ISA. The samples were also tested for either infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) or infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) and these tests were also negative.
This surveillance initiative is led by the CFIA in partnership with many organizations, including DFO, the Province of British Columbia, First Nations groups, the aquaculture industry and the fishing and processing industry.
All sampling, testing and response activities associated with this surveillance initiative are based on internationally recognized science. They are also consistent with international guidelines and national aquatic animal health requirements. A full report of the surveillance initiative is available through the CFIA website.  

By the end of 2013, this surveillance program is expected to collect an additional 5,000 samples for testing. The CFIA is also finalizing its approach to evaluate ongoing farmed salmon testing activities in BC. The CFIA expects to begin the collection and testing of farmed Atlantic and Pacific salmon this fall.

As part of the CFIA’s transparency initiative, additional information on this surveillance initiative and CFIA National Aquatic Animal Health Program, are available on the Agency’s website at