A Dangerous Decision By A "Caretaker Government"...

Alexandra Morton

Dear Rebecca Reid,

The letter you sent to me on October 3rd, reads like an acknowledgement that DFO has abandoned protection and conservation of wild salmon and is now solely a facilitator of the aquaculture industry.   Two Federal Court judges ruled that the DFO policy to issue permits to transfer farm salmon into marine pens without screening for them for the blood virus PRV is unlawful and yet this is precisely what your letter states DFO will do.

The letter you signed goes even further. It promises the salmon farmers that even if we know their fish are infected, for example through the PRV screening by Broughton First Nations, DFO will permit them to go into the ocean .

This means that instead of extinguishing the virus, DFO is going to let it mutate and spread… like in Norway

DFO own scientists report that PRV causes heart lesions in Fraser River sockeye.

And Fraser River sockeye are mysteriously vanishing.

Despite this and the court ruling, DFO has decided to allow every Fraser River sockeye run to be exposed to PRV-infected Atlantic salmon farms off Campbell River.

You can understand why I say DFO has stepped over a line.  

I met with you and your department all summer and there was never anyone on your side of the table speaking for the health of wild salmon. All the recognition of the extreme fragile state of wild salmon and the risk from this virus came from my side of the table. DFO was only willing to speak about what goes on in the farms.

PRV is from the Atlantic Ocean. Scientists in your department have implicated the virus in massive blood cell rupture and death of Chinook salmon and heart damage to Fraser sockeye. It is in most if not all farm salmon for sale in markets.

I have reviewed many of your emails through the Freedom of Information Act, and this disregard for the law and Pacific salmon is not your style. You tend to recommend caution. I met with Jonathan Wilkinson while he was Minister of Fisheries and I got the impression that we finally had a Minister who could understand the science and the implications to Canadians.

Something foul is a foot here. A very dangerous decision has been made during an election period under a caretaking government to release a virus into our waters, threatening Canada’s biggest wild salmon run with extinction.

I am calling on the political candidates to tell us, who will re-evaluate this decision if they form government and I am calling on the public to demand that DFO create a new position = Director of wild salmon Pacific Region and call for an investigation into how a decision which invites extinction of wild Pacific salmon in BC was made.

I look forward to meeting with you to discuss this decision.


Thank you,

Alexandra Morton