CONSERVATIVES MUST MAKE PROTECTING SALMON RIVERS A PRIORITY

VANCOUVER – The Conservative government is failing to protect salmon in British Columbia by underfunding the volunteer organizations tasked with habitat restoration.

“The Conservative government is not taking wild salmon seriously in British Columbia,” said Fisheries and Oceans deputy critic, Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody). “They have gutted the Fisheries Act, cut departmental budgets and now they are underfunding essential volunteer groups.”

The Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society, which is a community organization made up of volunteers, cannot go ahead with this year’s plans to restore three BC rivers with their allotted budget of $7,000. Approximately $50,000 is required to complete the three river system habitat work.

“The underfunding of this project not only threatens salmon survival, it is insulting to the volunteers who spend countless hours on restoration,” added NDP candidate Gord Johns (Courtenay - Alberni). “The report was clear. We must do better.”

– 30 –