“Coastal communities were blindsided by the announcement of your decision regarding licenses in the Discovery Islands”

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Conservative MPS criticise BC salmon farm and call for immediate transition plan.

In a letter to the letter to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Bernadette Jordan, Conservative MPs Richard Bragdon and Mel Arnold write that an immediate plan is needed. This is to help the industry absorb the financial loss of the farms as well as the workers and companies associated with them.

The government announced before Christmas that BC Discovery Islands salmon farms would be phased out by 2022.

Bragdon is the MP for Tobique-Mactaquac and is also the shadow minister for fisheries. Arnold is MP for North Okanagan – Shuswap.

“Coastal communities in British Columbia were blindsided by the announcement of your decision regarding licenses in the Discovery Islands,” the letter reads. “It is particularly shocking that you would make this announcement without proper consultation with local mayors, workers and their employers. This is negligent on your part.”

“Your decision has had, and will continue to have, significant negative impacts on British Columbia’s salmon farm operators, their workers and the families and communities that depend on them. The pandemic has already made this past year difficult, reminding us all of the importance of local food security and good local jobs.”

Richard Bragdon. PHOTO: Facebook

“It is particularly shocking that you would make this announcement without proper consultation with local mayors, workers and their employers. This is negligent on your part,” they added.

The MPS said that the lack of any plan and just “simply setting a date” put nearly 6,500 jobs at risk.

“We will continue to work with the provincial government, industry, First Nations, and other key partners to create jobs and build a stronger, more sustainable aquaculture sector across the province, which includes finalizing a plan to transition away from open-net pens by 2025,” responded Jordan in the local news site Coast Mountain News.

The ministry told the publication it will follow up with meetings in early 2021 to establish a transition plan.