Something to think about: Bill-228

January 6, 2017 - Campbell River, B.C.

By Ian Roberts, Director of Public Affairs, Marine Harvest Canada

This is my first of a 12 month opinion series that I hope will provide something to think about.

Last month, our Canadian Parliament considered a private members Bill C-228 introduced by Member of Parliament Fin Donnelly (NDP) that demands all ocean salmon farms in British Columbia be moved onto land.                        

Fortunately, common sense prevailed and the Bill was defeated by a vote of 215 to 80 with the vast majority of Liberal and Conservative Members of Parliament voting against it.  

For those who know little about salmon aquaculture, making the case for aquaculture to mass migrate onto land is surprisingly easy: one simply has to exaggerate the impacts of ocean farming while at the same time understate the challenges of raising salmon on land to market size. But the fact is, both systems of fish production are important pieces of today’s modern salmon farming. Marine Harvest continues to invest millions of dollars yearly to maximize the benefits and minimize the impacts of both land-based and ocean-based farms.

If this law proposal had prevailed all salmon farming in B.C. would have closed down within the next five years, destroying thousands of jobs, including yours.

Rachel Blaney, the NDP MP for the North Island voted in favour of this proposed law. That should give us all something to think about.