Saturday, May 1, 2010

Joining Alexandra Morton's Get-Out Migration

Thank you George Baker for bringing to my attention Alexandra Morton's march down Vancouver Island to protect the wild salmon (prdnews Apr 23). Your article inspired me to buy plane tickets to go to Vancouver Island and join the “Get-out Migration”.
I called friends, my family... I found one other person from Prince Rupert who wants to go. Anybody else out there in Prince Rupert? Give me a call I'm in the phone book.

Up here in the north, it may seem as if that whole salmon farming thing is over. There's a moratorium here. We won. But let me tell you something. It's partly because of Alexandra Morton that we got our moratorium. She did the science, she publicized the issue, she took the salmon farming companies to court, and she has been a relentless voice in defence of the wild salmon.

“We will lose our wild salmon if government continues to carelessly put farm salmon before wild salmon.” Here's a person of great integrity standing up to the Norwegian Fish Farm Corporations, and calling the government repeatedly to account for their failure to protect wild salmon.

There's not many people like Alexandra. She knows that letting the wild salmon die is wrong to the very core of her being. “Salmon embody the essential unity of mountain, forest and stream.” She says.

Meanwhile the government sits on the evidence that open-net fish farms kill salmon smolts and does nothing. The government's view is that salmon are not sacred. They are a stream of income. And if farmed salmon yield a bigger stream of income then wild salmon then so be it.

The character of the north pacific coast, the ecosystem the identity of the people who live here – that doesn't matter to the federal or the provincial governments. It's all about money. But of course no politician has the guts to admit that out loud.

Bill Vander Zalm will be up here in a couple of weeks flogging his American style anti-tax campaign. Who has the integrity? Who is standing up for what's really valuable ?

Look what's happening in the United States. The big banks and the investment firms brought the global economy to the brink of disaster, and then got the government to bail them out and gave themselves million dollar bonuses. And recently the Supreme court took away all limits to corporate contributions for election campaigns. It's official, the U.S. Government is for sale to the highest bidders.

Back in BC we have a government that pretends to be green, but like our American neighbours, really just listens to the sound of money. It's only people with integrity like Alexandra who have made the fish farming moratorium possible. But let's not take the absence of fish farms here for granted.

Money talks and government listens, but government also listens if sufficient numbers of people make their feelings known. When you get down to it it's either we the people or it's the corporations. If we don't join together and make our voices heard they win and the wild salmon go extinct.

What's important to you? Do you fish for salmon? Do you smoke and can salmon? What would it mean to you if there were no more wild salmon?

Before I moved to Prince Rupert salmon didn't mean much to me, but after living here almost twenty years I see things very differently. I'm going down to Vancouver Island to support Alexandra Morton and to tell the BC government to get the Norwegian salmon farms out of our ocean.

Come and join us. Or, even if you aren't planning to go, go to Alexandra's website And check out the progress of the get-out migration. E-mail a comment of support, sign the petition. Show Alexandra and the BC government that Prince Rupert cares about wild salmon.

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