Port Hardy Mayor on Discovery Island salmon farm phase out: “It affects all of us”

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Dennis Dugas said that transition period is too short.

North Island Gazette reports that Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas has spoken of the impact of the closures will have on his town.

Salmon farming in Port Hardy, the northern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, is a core economic driver, home to salmon processing businesses, vessel makers and many fish farm workers.

Talking at a recent council meeting, the mayor said that “everything is built on time for proper transition.”

“Unfortunately when you’ve only got 18 months it’s going to affect a number of employees in a particular area… it’s not enough time to get them retrained to go into other areas of work, because there isn’t any [work] at this particular time,” he added.

“It’s going to affect the boats that bring the fish to us, there’s going to be less work for them, less work for the processing plant, less fish for Hardy Buoys. It affects all of us,” said Dugas.

Mayor Dugas said that despite multiple open letters sent to Minister Bernadette Jordan about the impact of the removal of 19 sites owned by Mowi, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood, noone has yet replied.

“At this particular time she has never to this date replied to any of those letters that have been sent out, either from local government, provincial government or local industry,” he added.