FACEBOOK PHOTO/Swanson Occupation Members and the ‘Namgis First Nation pose in front of a sign in Alert Bay in fall of 2017.

‘Namgis to proceed with judicial review amid restocking of Swanson Island Fish Farm

‘Namgis willl not appeal injunction rulling to proceed with restocking

‘Namgis First Nation will not be appealing a March 23 federal court decision to deny an injunction that would prevent the restocking of Swanson Island fish farm. In a March 28th press release, ‘Namgis First Nation stated it will instead, “Build on the court’s findings when continuing with its application for judicial review of DFO’s policy not to test for Piscine Reo Virus (PRV).”

“The Minister ignored findings of fact, barges ahead and issued the licence anyway,” said ‘Namgis Chief Don Svanvik in the release. “The Minister has not fulfilled the honour of the crown. He acted with complete disregard for our rights and interests. What little faith our community had in the honour of the Crown has been shattered.”

The ‘Namgis release states that Justice Michael Manson found that “the way Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the aquaculture industry conduct themselves with respect to PRV constitutes a serious risk of irreparable harm on a number of fronts including; impacts to severely depleted salmon stocks; and impacts to indigenous rights to fish.”

In the 41-page decision, Justice Manson said there is a “real and non-speculative likelihood of harm” but also denied the injunction on the transfer because the smolts were maturing and required transfer to a saltwater environment.

The decision stated that “’Namigs met with representatives from Marine Harvest on Dec.21 2017 and was told that Marine Harvest planned to restock the Swanson Island facility in March or April of 2017.”

Marine Harvest stated in the affidavit provided to Justice Manson that if they had to transfer the smolts to another location it would result in $2.1 million in damages.

“In any discussion we have had with Marine Harvest, they have always said they would proceed despite our objections and concerns, We had also written to the minister expressly saying that any decision to grant the licence would be vulnerable to legal challenge,” said Svanvik in the release, adding, “It seems clear to me that economic interests of the fish farm industry are more important to the Minister and to the courts than the protection of wild salmon and the indigenous rights of our people.”

In a March 23 press release, Marine Harvest said the Court Order Confirmed Marine Harvest’s Swanson Island salmon farm has been operating for 28 years under compliance with DFO requirements for transfers of fish during that period of time.

Ian Roberts, Marine Harvest Director of Communications, said the company will continue to seek engagement with the ‘Namgis First Nation.

“We have always expressed our interests in short term and long term solutions which may include relocation of the farm,” said Roberts. “If they had sat and had meaningful discussions with us we would have talked about those options but they have always refused to meet with us and talk about short term and long term solutions.”

Marine Harvest has since proceeded with the restocking of the Swanson Island fish farm site.

“We have the permit to stock and are restocking.” said Roberts, adding, “They have the right to peaceful protest but we have the right to operate our business and we are permitted by Canada and by the province.”

In the conclusion of his decision, Justice Manson said that the ‘Namgis’ “underlying application for judicial review should proceed as expeditiously as possible.”

Just Posted

Tree falls inches away from Port Hardy home

The tree narrowly missed the residence on Wolleson Street

Port Hardy firefighters to earn money for calls

Council has approved a Fire Department Remuneration policy

A memorial mural will be painted in Port Hardy

The mural will honour lives lost to substance abuse and mental health

VIDEO: North Island Local Hero Awards 2018

On the North Island, we are blessed with many different kinds of heroes.

Port Alice Health Centre receives special appreciation

Society makes luncheon to recognize healthcare staff

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

Kervin’s Corner: There’s more than one solution to aquaculture, fish farms

“We don’t need to coop up farmed fish to land-based, closed containment farming.”

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Catalyst Paper to sell U.S. mills to Chinese company

Sale will allow company to focus on B.C. interests, says president Ned Dwyer

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

Most Read