DONNELLY TABLES THOUSANDS OF SIGNATURES IN PARLIAMENT URGING GOVERNMENT TO TAKE ACTION ON FISH FARMS

OTTAWA- Today, New Democrat Fisheries and Oceans critic, Fin Donnelly, presented over 9000 signatures in the House of Commons requesting the federal government take action against open-net fish farms in British Columbia.

“Thousands of British Columbians signed a petition at their local farmers markets, community festivals, or on their doorstep,” said Donnelly. “Along with the tremendous feedback from my postcard campaign, it is clear that the Minister has a responsibility to the people of BC and across the country to adopt my bill and protect wild salmon.”

Last May, Donnelly introduced the Wild Salmon Protection Act (bill C-518) which aims to strengthen the Fisheries Act by requiring BC fish farms to move from harmful open-net pens to safe, closed containment systems. Donnelly also launched a postcard campaign after the introduction of the bill. Since then, he has been joined by Canadian television and film icon, William Shatner, award-winning salmon activist Alexandra Morton, executive Chef Robert Clark, Chief Bob Chamberlin and thousands of British Columbians who have signed postcards or the online petition to support his bill.

“The people of British Columbia have been clear on this issue; they want the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to fulfill her mandate and protect wild salmon,” said Donnelly. “The Conservatives have essentially turned their backs on BC’s west coast when it comes to wild salmon and ocean ecosystems. Whether it is their harmful aquaculture policies, reluctance to protect critical orca whale habitat or their refusal to legislate a ban on oil super tankers off the North coast, it is clear this government isn’t doing enough to preserve BC’s coast or coastal communities.”