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fish farms and Gordon Campbell


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Premier's fish farms

January 05, 2005 - 8:07 am

By: Tammy Moyer/The Province

The Premier could be up a river without a paddle. Gordon Campbell is a share owner in a company that runs BC fish farms. This came to light in the annual investment statements required of all MLAs under law. The David Suzuki Foundation calls it unfortunate that the premier could be profiting from a company  hurting BC's wild salmon.

Hmmm this could turn interesting. It may turn into a conflict of interest case.

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What kind of shares? Were they part of a mutual fund or did he purchase them individually. Are they voting shares? When were they purchased and has he intervened to make a difference to the stock value?

Should politicians own any investments? Say he owns his home in Vancouver and went for the Olympics and the value of his home went up because of it. Is this not the same conflict of interest?

As for the Suzuki Foundation, they are not an unbiased source.

Do businesses even have the right to operate anymore in BC? At one time the fish farms were thought to take the pressure of over fishing the wild stocks. Now they have dueling scientists. I don't know what the truth is but I do know that I trust environment Canada's studies more than Suzuki, Sierra, or some lady with a net.

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I believe Campbell okayed opening new fish farms near Alaska against the wishes of Alaska. I don't think there is any doubt that the fish farms can hurt the natural fisheries and the wild stock. Wild salmon are showing up now infested with sea lice thanks to fish farms.

I would not eat farm fish; it is a vastly inferior procuct with soft flesh as the fish do not get the proper exercise that wild fish do. The dye used to make them look more like the natural product may cause health concerns.

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Campbell government set to over-rule municipalities on fish farms

The Campbell government has forced legislation through the Legislature that gives it the power to overturn municipal by-laws restricting the location of fish farms, Opposition Leader Joy MacPhail said today.

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VICTORIA - British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell is defending a controversial move to refund millions of dollars in fines and retroactive rents to fish farm operators.

CBC News reported Wednesday that the B.C. government made under-the-table payments to B.C.'s salmon farmers that environmentalists say were illegal.

The government admits the payments were made, but says they were legal. Campbell says there was a huge backlog of paperwork when the Liberals took power in 2001 and a decision was made by a provincial corporation, Land and Water B.C., that felt responsible for the delays.

The payments were made without ministerial or cabinet approval. But Campbell says Land and Water B.C. had the authority to act on the amount owing, and did what it thought was best for the public.

A number of fish farms had been assessed penalties for operating where they were not licensed to be. Internal government documents show the Liberals scrapped the penalties. In total, the fines forgiven totalled $812,000. On top of that rents were reduced at a cost of $1.5 million. B.C.'s Financial Administration Act says debts to the government "may not be forgiven without the approval of (the cabinet) if the amount is $100,000 or more."

Environmental groups say the payments were illegal if there was no ministerial approval and they're asking the auditor general to investigate why the fish farmers got a break and why it

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MacPhail said that this new power is part of the government’s bias towards its big financial backers in the fish farm industry. Fish farms gave the BC Liberals tens of thousands of dollars to win the last election. Since then, the government has lifted the moratorium on new fish farms, denied the threat of sea-lice to wild salmon stocks, and has been caught tipping off fish farms to environmental investigations.

I think the evidence speaks for itself. Definete conflict of interest with fish farms being heavy contributors to the Campbell party plus Campbell being a stock holder. He should have had no influence on any bills concerning fish farms.

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That's not BC's fault; it is the particular politicians problem. Campbell was quick to criticize others and I am sure was responsible for the down fall of Gordon Wilson (personal reasons) and Glen Clarke (not guilty) both of whom were in less trouble than the Drunk driving charges against Campbell. The man showed no class when he did not offer his resignation when he had previously called for other to resign on much less evidence.

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