“The federal government took action in Discovery without consulting us at all”

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BC Premier John Horgan was told about Discovery Islands closures after it became publically known.

In a news media conference on Wednesday, BC Premier John Horgan told reporters that his department was not warned or consulted about Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s December announcement Discovery Islands salmon farm phase-out.

“The federal government took action in Discovery without consulting us at all,” Horgan said. The comments were reported in BIV.

“They told us after the fact,” he added.

Though the NDP politician added that he was concerned about a lack of transition plan for jobs, rather than being blindsided by the Trudeau government’s intervention in the production cycle. The site closures have potentially put 1,500 families in limbo.

“We want to make sure, as we transition from one industry to another, that there are programs in place to help workers,” said Horgan. “That, in this case, is the responsibility of the federal government, and they need to step up. I have made that clear to them, and we’re working on that.”

On Monday, the Canadian government posted its economic aims post-COVID-19 to be “a global leader in the blue economy”. Close to 90 per-cent of the value of Canada’s seafood farming sector currently comes from farmed salmon. Trudeau aims to move sea-based salmon farming into closed facilities in British Columbia within five years.