House of Commons Votes Down Bill C-228

On February 24, 2016 Fin Donnelly, NDP Critic Fisheries and Oceans, introduced a Private Members Bill C-228, an act to amend the Fisheries Act requiring all BC salmon farms to move to closed containment systems.

The Bill was defeated after second reading in the House on December 6, 2016. Prior to the vote, CAIA reached out to all MP’s in BC and Atlantic Canada to share information around several points: the positive contribution salmon farming is making to coastal communities, data to demonstrate how the industry is using closed containment technology in its current operations as well as limitations to its expanded use.

During the final debate, Serge Cormier, Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, made some very positive statements about the BC salmon farming industry:

“I would like to remind my colleagues that the aquaculture industry in British Columbia is already under federal regulation as a result of the 2009 decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court. The regulatory changes that were brought in at that time enable me to say with confidence that aquaculture in British Columbia is managed under a comprehensive and robust regulatory regime.

These regulations and reporting requirements provide a great deal of information about the management and implementation of aquaculture fisheries in British Columbia.

What does all the data - collected over the course of five years - tell us? Does it indicate that the problems with finfish aquaculture in British Columbia warrant the restructuring of the entire industry? In my view, the evidence tells a completely different story. In fact, the evidence shows an industry that has steadily reduced its environmental impact, mitigated the impacts it has had, and minimized its interactions with wild populations and their habitats.”

After reviewing the list of MP’s that voted in favour of Bill C-228, CAIA has developed a priority list of MP’s for scheduled meetings this spring.