VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan’s news conference about protecting British Columbia’s wild salmon stocks was interrupted by a protester shouting “you sold us out,” and “our salmon are dying.”
The woman loudly accused Horgan of allowing the province’s ocean-based aquaculture industry to continue operating while wild salmon stocks are struggling to survive.
The woman, who identified herself as Tsastilqualus, says she is from the Alert Bay area but has been living in a tent on Swanson Island near several commercial salmon farms.
Horgan, who announced the formation of an advisory council to develop plans to restore and protect B.C.’s wild salmon stocks, denied the woman’s claims that his government was stalling on protecting wild salmon.
Environmentalists and First Nations say the farms infect the wild stock as they swim past, but studies haven’t been as conclusive.
Horgan says the government will soon have further comment on the future of salmon farm tenures that are due to expire June 20 for many of the aquaculture operations located on the north side of Vancouver Island.
The wild salmon council will submit its recommendations to the government this fall.
The Canadian Press