Colleen Dane of the BC Salmon Farmers Association appeared before council last week to give an update from the organization and to accept an invitation from the District.
Dane, who travelled from the association’s main office in Campbell River to address council, told councillors she wanted to touch base and informed council the organization’s focus was on “educating the public on what we do.”
She said the group was heavily involved in schools, giving presentations and being involved in events like the Kidz Discovery Farm at the PNE.
She informed council of the move within the industry towards third-party certification, in particular the audit conducted by the Global Aquaculture Alliance. Dane called it “a way to show we’re being accountable.”
Speaking of the recently released Cohen Commission Report, Dane said the organization was “quite strongly in favour” of its findings.
She then thanked the District for its invite to host the BCSFA 2013 Annual General Meeting in Port Hardy and said she was pleased to accept. She informed council that they were tentatively scheduling the third week in September as the date and said it was a “good opportunity for those people to reconnect.”
Acting Mayor John Tidbury thanked Dane for her presentation and called the AGM a “nice big plus for the community.”
The District declined an offer of a bursary from the Sail And Life Training Society.
Each year SALTS take young people aboard a tall ship for a ten-day mentoring program which teaches life and sailing skills.
They had offered to provide a bursary for a teenaged girl to join them on their summer program for a trip from Victoria to Port Hardy, a $1,581 value, subject to certain provisions.
It was these provisions that prompted council to turn down the offer.
One of the partner organization eligibility requirements states that partner organizations must “not provide or fund abortion services,” and it was the organization’s anti-abortion position that made councillors uncomfortable in accepting.
Councillor Jessie Hemphill summed up feelings at the table when she said “I would have a hard time with the District supporting it because of their strong anti-abortion stance.” Councillors felt that by accepting the offer they would be taking a side on a divisive issue beyond their remit.
Council also praised the program itself, with Rick Marcotte saying it was a “great opportunity for a young person,” and Councillor Janet Dorward asked “Is there an organization more suited to this bursary?”
Council resolved to contact SALTS and recommend local church groups as being more appropriate partners to the organization.
Le Gal retires
• This was the last council meeting for Gloria Le Gal, the Director of Corporate Services for the District, in her current capacity.
Le Gal is retiring from the position later this month, with Jeff Long, most recently Director of Planning for the Regional District of Mount Waddington, taking over her role at the District.
Councillors thanked Le Gal for her service and Acting Mayor Tidbury presented her with her name plaque as a memento.
“It’s really been a pleasure working with all of you on council,” said Le Gal.