Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature, Oct. 23, 2017. (Hansard TV)

No ‘official complaint’ about Abbotsford lab: DFO

Popham under fire for salmon farm research claims

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham continued to defend her actions around salmon farms Tuesday, repeating that a provincial animal health lab in Abbotsford has had serious allegations raised about its methods.

B.C. Liberal MLA Peter Milobar called on Popham to clarify her statements to a Vancouver newspaper that she was “investigating one of the top scientists in the Ministry of Agriculture.” Dr. Gary Marty specializes in fish health and has previously spoken out against claims by anti-salmon farm activists that net-pen farms are responsible for declining wild salmon stocks.

Popham said the Abbotsford lab’s work is being reviewed after concerns raised by the federal Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

DFO’s Pacific region office issued a statement Tuesday, saying the federal ministry “has not made any official complaint to the Province of B.C. regarding the diagnostic work undertaken by the province’s Animal Health Centre.

“DFO has a memorandum of understanding in place with the Animal Health Centre to conduct diagnostic testing on farmed salmon samples collected through the DFO fish health audit program.” That testing agreement is in place until March 31, 2020.

RELATED: B.C. Minister warned salmon farm not to restock

Under questioning about a letter she sent to Marine Harvest asking it not to stock one of its salmon farms north of Vancouver Island, and then about her comments about the Abbotsford lab, Popham was on the defensive for a third day.

“There is no investigation, formally, and no one is being fired,” Popham said in the legislature Monday. “But we are focused on ensuring that there is integrity in our lab. With the cooperation of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, we’re reviewing the results of the previous samples to make sure there is integrity in our results.”

Just Posted

OPINION: Ten signs that Port Alice has changed

“Right now, our lack of amenities is holding back economic growth in our village”

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

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

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read