Letter to the Editor - Government must act on Cohen recommendations

Re: Federal government supports B.C. salmon, Letters, Feb. 12

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea and her Parliamentary Secretary Randy Kamp try to make the case that the Conservative government has acted on Justice Cohen’s recommendations, but the reality is they have failed to properly respond to this $26 million public inquiry.

Justice Cohen’s 2012 report outlined 75 specific recommendations to ensure the sustainability of Pacific sockeye salmon. It’s been well over a year and the government has missed over a dozen key deadlines outlined in the report and has failed to respond to its most important recommendations.

The government’s position is further undermined by its own record of gutting legislation meant to protect fish habitat, slashing DFO’s budget, muzzling scientists, and reversing decades of progress toward more sustainable fisheries.

It’s time the federal government take seriously their duty to conserve wild salmon by fully implementing Justice Cohen’s recommendations. Wild salmon are far too important to British Columbians to let this $26 million report sit on a shelf and gather dust.

FIN DONNELLY, NDP MP for New Westminster — Coquitlam & Port Moody, Deputy Critic for Fisheries and Oceans (Pacific)