FLNRO Minister Doug Donaldson Replies

FLNRO Minister Doug Donaldson Replies

Recently, several supporters and letter writers finally received a reply to their inquiry. It was from FLNRO Minister Doug Donaldson.

Here is Minister Donaldson's letter, one of the few replies from government officials to our letter campaign.

Dear Concerned Citizen:

Thank you for your correspondence regarding the renewal of salmon farm tenures in British Columbia. 

We understand that there are many perspectives to consider when making a decision that impacts our shared cultural, economic and environmental values.  I assure you that all of these perspectives will be considered as the province engages with First Nations on whose asserted traditional territories the aquaculture tenures are located, and that we are currently working towards a solution.  This government remains committed to the protection of wild salmon, and we also understand that the salmon farming industry is an important economic contributor to rural communities on this coast and to the broader provincial economy.

As you may be aware, while my ministry is responsible for the issuance of tenures under the Land Act that authorizes the occupation of submerged Crown land for the purpose of finfish aquaculture, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is responsible for issuing aquaculture licences under the federal Fisheries Act and is the primary regulator of aquaculture activities and facilities.  DFO’s mandate comprises all matters related to the production of farmed fish, fish health (including farmed and wild fish interactions), as well as any impacts to the marine environment. 

At this point, only the provincial Crown land tenures for the fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago are coming due for replacement decisions.  The DFO and the province are working under a harmonization agreement to deliver our respective mandates and decisions related to aquaculture in British Columbia.

To read a statement released by provincial government and First Nations governments on January 30, 2018, regarding the work being done in the Broughton Archipelago, please visit:  https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018FLNR0006-000128.

I appreciate you writing to share your concerns on this issue. 

Sincerely,

Doug Donaldson
Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations
   and Rural Development

pc:       Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia
Honourable Carole James, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier
Honourable Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Honourable Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture
Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology
Honourable Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
Shirley Ackland, Mayor, Town of Port McNeill
Andy Adams, Mayor, City of Campbell River