Submission 1106-FOOT

Submitter: paula foot

Community: Duncan

Date Submitted: December 14, 2023

The hearings on ISAv should be live streamed.

The work done looking for ISA virus and making it public has prompted the Cohen Commission to reopen on the Thursday this week (Dec. 15, 16, 19). In preparation for this I have done a blog quoting government’s fierce internal debate over importing Atlantics into BC. You can see there are heroes in DFO and the Ministry of Environment who were silenced by the looming threat of Trade Sanctions. Real or imagined you can see this pressure degraded the safeguards. Interestingly, first industry brought in Scottish eggs (1985), but stopped suddenly and lobbied for U.S. eggs. Large numbers of eggs poured in from the U.S. and then abruptly stopped. Industry then pressured DFO to allow Icelandic eggs. DFO drops the regulations further and eggs flood in from Iceland, and then abruptly stop in 2009. April 2010, the salmon farmers decide they don’t want the provincial government auditing their farms for viruses. No matter whether we are talking about exotic or endemic viruses, salmon farms destabilize the relationship between pathogen and host. If commerce and not biology regulates how we deal with disease – we are in trouble.

I think it is important to recognize there have been and still are heroic efforts from within government to protect our fish from disease. Today, Dr. Sally Goldes who headed the provincial fish health lab stepped forward in the Times Colonist to say we never had effective measures against imported viruses. (see my blog). We need to support these people to represent our need for wild salmon.

I understand the Cohen Commission is refusing to allow live-streaming of this public inquiry. There are people who have stepped up to do this at no charge. This has to be made public.

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