MARINE HARVEST PHOTO Protestors prepare to leave the Midsummer Island site.

Court orders protestors to leave fish farm site

“The adjournment allows us to compile our evidence and present it in 30 days.”

The Supreme Court of BC has ordered fish farm protestors to, vacate a Marine Harvest fish farm site, while court processes are underway.

A hearing was held Nov. 14 where Marine Harvest Canada, asked the B.C. Supreme Court for an injunction to remove protesters from its Midsummer Island salmon farm located off the east coast of Vancouver Island in the Broughton Archipelago, about 50 kilometres east of Port Hardy.

The supreme court of BC adjourned the company’s application for an injunction, to allow the defense to prepare its response until the next court date on Dec. 14. During the adjournment, however, the court has ordered the protestors to vacate the Midsummer Island site.

“The decision wasn’t favourable for us, but we don’t feel defeat,” said hereditary chief Ernest Alfred, who has been staying at a site near Marine Harvest’s Swanson Island farm since late August. “Although it ends the occupation at midsummer the adjournment allows us to compile our evidence and present it in 30 days.”

The application for injunction named three women, Sherry Janine, Molina Dawson, and Karissa Glendale, as well as Alfred and biologist and activist Alexandra Morton.

Protestors have been occupying the Midsummer Island site since Sept. 4, calling for the removal of fish farms from Musgamagw, ‘Namgis and Mamalilikala traditional territories, stating that consent was never given for the company to operate in the territory and they are concerned about the impact fish farms to have on wild salmon.

RELATED: B.C. fish farm protests to continue amid court action

The protestors now have until Friday, Nov. 17 to remove all tents and structures from the site.

“We are still committed to our effort and our position of peaceful protest so essentially we move somewhere else but we are committed to pressuring the government to get to the same table and deal with this issue already,” said Alfred.

The application for an injunction comes after Marine Harvest delivered a letter to the protestors on Nov.7 requesting them to vacate the site.

“Your occupation of the Midsummer facility creates an unacceptable risk for yourself, Marine Harvest staff, and Marine Harvest property,” read the letter, which cited the narrow open water walkways that the protesters were camped on to be a safety risk.

“We are glad that even in the short term the courts have decided that our workplace should be free from harassment and intimidation and this is a positive step for our employees,” said Ian Roberts, Director of Public Affairs for Marine Harvest, adding he knows this decision will be welcomed by the company’s employees.

“We have an incredibly strong case, we are confident that a judge will look at this situation that our people are in and rule in our favour,” said Alfred, citing the First Nations active opposing of the crown tenures which were granted to Marine Harvests 2013, and expire in June 2018 for several of the company’s farm sites.

“This important government to government discussion needs to occur so our businesses and many other businesses in the Province have clarity about this process,” said Vincent Erenst Managing director for Marine Harvest in a Nov. 14 press release, adding “we remain willing to find compromise for the short term and long term solutions.”

Before the hearing took place there was rally where roughly 40 people attended to show their support for the occupiers.

“They are resolved committed and determined to have fish farms removed from their territory that has been inspirational to me and all the other people with me,” said Eddie Gardner, from the Skwah First Nation in Chilliwack, who drove to drove to Vancouver with five other people to attend the rally.

The court order states, that if the protestors re-occupy the site “the Plaintiff may reset its application for hearing upon 36 hours notice.”

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP tips to prevent fraud and theft

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

Coroner’s inquest into fatal police shooting in Port Hardy begins in Campbell River

James Reginald Butters, 24, killed in 2015 after RCMP responded to call of male uttering threats

Forest fire 1.5 km from Sara Lake listed as out of control

While the fire is classified as out of control, they expect it to be under control imminently.

Salvation Army cribbage tournament brings joy to the Port Hardy community

“Everyone is always laughing and having a good time”

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

UPDATED: Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months, overnight leave

Kelly Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. hockey player excited to join Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman Sebastien Archambault played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles.

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

On vaccines, abortion, Goop, doctor Jen Gunter says: ‘I have a duty to speak up’

She speaks out on menstruation, the wellness industry and vaccines

Most Read