VICTORIA—More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on the B.C. government to halt federal government and B.C. salmon farming industry plans to expand open-net salmon farming in B.C. waters. The petition has received the endorsement of more than one hundred conservation organizations, industry associations, independent business owners and the Tofino‐Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.
MLA Andrew Weaver (Oak Bay-Gordon Head) will present the petition in the B.C. legislature today.
OTTAWA—A federal court lawsuit seeking to overturn the approval of the world’s first genetically modified (GM) food animal will finally proceed to hearing after enduring a year of delay at the hands of the government. Ecojustice lawyers representing Living Oceans Society and the Ecology Action Centre have now filed evidence in the case against the federal government’s approval of genetically modified salmon. This step means the case will finally move forward, after waiting nearly a year for the government to file the documents on which its decisions were based.
VANCOUVER—Living Oceans commends the British Columbia government and its 18 partner First Nations on the announcement of the Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP) plans in Victoria today. The unveiling of plans for the future of Canada's Pacific Ocean follows on fully a decade of work by Living Oceans to encourage governments to engage in marine planning. Living Oceans represented the conservation sector at three of the MaPP advisory tables in an inclusive planning process that depended upon input from environmental groups, ocean-based businesses and regional district governments.
VANCOUVER—Living Oceans reacted with shock today to learn that the federal government intends to cut the budget of the National Energy Board, the sole regulator charged with both enhanced pipeline safety and the environmental assessment of dozens of projects.
VANCOUVER—Groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project today expressed their concern in the face of a major change to safety requirements proposed for a port assessed by Transport Canada as having the highest risk of any existing Canadian port for an oil spill. The change would reduce by up to 70 percent the requirement for pilots to board ships outside Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, before entering the busy port.
VANCOUVER—Top North American seafood organizations have given a stamp of approval for the first time to several of B.C.’s groundfish fisheries. Today’s recommendations from the U.S. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s (MBA) Seafood Watch Program and Canada’s SeaChoice program, combined with earlier Marine Stewardship Council recommendations, mean that over 88 per cent of groundfish caught in Canada’s Pacific waters can be recommended to consumers. Six years ago, the same organizations recommended avoiding most of the fish caught by the province’s largest fishery.
VANCOUVER—This week, groups are marking the anniversary of the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation to approve Enbridge’s controversial pipeline and tanker project with a retrospective index.
“One year after the hearings concluded, the opposition to Enbridge’s pipeline and tankers is as strong as ever,” said Gerald Amos of the Friends of Wild Salmon. “Enbridge has failed to win social licence for the project or meet any of its 209 conditions, and British Columbians and First Nations are pulling together to stop the project in the courts.”
OTTAWA—The Government of Panama has fined the company AquaBounty for breaching numerous national environmental laws during its ongoing research and development of a genetically modified (GM) Atlantic salmon. The GM fish eggs were shipped from Canada, provoking fears of environmental contamination in both countries.
“This is an incredibly risky technology that threatens the future of wild Atlantic salmon,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), “These corporate violations expose how easy it would be for containment of this GM fish to fail.”
Living Oceans lambasted the federal government today for its repeated failure to provide for safe navigation on B.C.’s North Coast, citing the imminent risk of the container ship Simushir grounding along the treacherous outer coast of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.
“The failure to provide for rescue tug capacity on the North Coast puts these incredibly sensitive marine ecosystems at unacceptable risk from shipping,” said Executive Director Karen Wristen.