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Agriculture

Some B.C. fish farms to close or move in bid to help wild salmon recover

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  • VICTORIA — All 17 fish farms in British Columbia’s Broughton Archipelago will either be closed or moved in an effort to create a migration path for wild salmon.

    The agreement between the federal and provincial governments, First Nations and two fish farm companies, Marine Harvest Canada and Cermaq Canada, was announced Friday with a goal to protect and restore wild salmon.

    Opponents to open-net pen fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago have conducted protests and occupations on some of the farms. 

    Experts and First Nations in the area have long complained the farms spread disease, viruses and sea lice, harming the wild juvenile salmon that migrate through the same waters. The B.C. Salmon Farmers Association has said there is no evidence that farmed salmon negatively impacts wild salmon.

    Friday’s agreement was prompted by provincial government guidelines announced in June that meant fish farm operators had to get First Nations’ approval to operate in their territory. The guidelines also said operators needed to satisfy Fisheries and Oceans Canada that their operations didn’t have an adverse impact on the wild stock in the area.

    The First Nations included in the agreement are the Namgis, the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla. 

    Bob Chamberlin, chief councillor of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, said Indigenous Peoples have long demanded justice for the wild salmon in their territories.

    “What we’re witnessing today is critical to Canada’s development. We’re seeing a jointly defined government, First Nations process come to shared recommendations.”

    The plan is for four farms to close next year, two in 2020 and four more in the two years after that. The agreement says the remaining seven tenures will end unless they have First Nation approval and Department of Fisheries licences.

    The agreement includes the implementation of new technologies to address risks on the farms, such as sea lice, and steps to restore wild salmon habitat in the Broughton Archipelago, a collection of islands off northeastern Vancouver Island.

    Chamberlin thanked both Cermaq and Marine Harvest for negotiating the agreement.

    “What I kept hearing from you time and time again … was a concern for the people who have employment. We had to strike a balance between the needs of our people and the needs of industry, and I believe we have done that expertly.”

    Diane Morrison, managing director of Marine Harvest, said the province is changing and that means businesses must evolve. She said it is an important agreement for its 600 employees, their families and their future.

    “Marine Harvest will not be making any changes to staff or contractors because of this agreement, but based on the agreed plan we will be initiating a transition in the Broughton and our operations there will change.”

    In a news release, the company said the agreement “will ensure a viable production area is maintained during the transition period and allow for business adjustments to be made. … There are no changes to employment anticipated at this time.”

    B.C. Premier John Horgan said public confidence in the fish farm industry is critically important, and the agreement includes a plan for oversight of the operations by area First Nations, a template that can be used in other industries across B.C.

    Horgan said the process has created a sense of goodwill between governments, industry and First Nations.

    “That’s why there’s hope and optimism for the future that wild salmon is what brought us together and wild salmon is what will keep us together.”

    — By Terri Theodore in Vancouver

     

    The Canadian Press

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    Agriculture

    WATCH: Unreserved Auction June 15 – Stunning property just west of Rimbey- Open House this Saturday 1-4 pm

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  • The owners have enjoyed The Oneday Ranch for many years, developed it with sweat, passion, expertise, and a whole lot of money! Now they are SELLING IT ALL! Please join them at this Giant UNRESERVED auction Saturday, June 15th.  There will be open houses on Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, June 2nd from 1 to 4 PM.

    Details: Selling the NW 1/4 35-42-5 W5M

    The land is 157 acres of picturesque countryside. It has limitless possibilities – a Guest Ranch, Private Parties, Camps, Hobby Farm, Dude Ranch…or keep it simply for your own use. It sells with Several Fully Furnished Cabins, a Saloon with a Covered Beer Garden, Entertainment Stage, Large Shop with Living Quarters, a Furnished 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home, Quad & Walking Trails, a Horse Barn with a Heated Tack Room, tons of antiques and So Much More!
    This property holds much promise for an entrepreneur or simply for those just wanting a unique and interesting place to call home.
    Oneday Ranch 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 2 3 4 5 6 1
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    A once in a lifetime opportunity to buy an amazing piece of property!
    Here are some key points:
    -10 km of groomed trails through beautiful treed land
    -Set up for horses for trail rides with lots of parking
    and space for trailers and accommodation for riders
    -Abundance of wild life, Moose, Whitetail deer and Elk
    -Work from home
    -Big shop space with two 16’x16′ doors, 40’x40′ Shop/living quarters with in floor heat
    -Big 60’x 56′ building c/w heated tack room
    -20 acres of hay/pasture
    -quarter section has “like-new” fencing
    -There is room and existing roadways for additional RV camp ground
    – No pipelines and no oil leases on this 1/4
    -Very nice insulated cabin at the back of the quarter on a separate 50 acre title with room for campers to enjoy
    -No mud on main yard roads, pathways or parking areas and there is geo-textile matting under all gravel
    -Roof water from all buildings is directed underground to pond
    -Ponoka County Admin are very helpful and fantastic to deal with
    Property sell as 2 separate titles, one property being just over 100 acres and sells with all the buildings, the balance of the land being approximately 50 acres and sells as second parcel. Both titles will be sold as one unit.
    Located 27 km west of Rimbey on Hwy 53 and north 2 miles on Rg Rd 52. Then turn right and it’s the first place on the right.
    Open Houses: May 25, 2019 & June 2nd, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by Appointment.
    Unreserved Auction will be held Saturday, June 15th starting at 10 AM.  Everything must go as the owners are moving overseas.
    Owner’s Phone Number: (403) 598-0095
    Allen B. Olson: (403) 783-0556
    For more information click here
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    Agriculture

    Conservatives urge Liberals to expedite promised relief for canola farmers

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  • OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives said Thursday they’re hearing from frustrated canola producers who are still waiting for financial relief recently promised by the Liberal government.

    Canola producers are expressing concern about funding promised three weeks ago that can’t be accessed, Tory shadow minister for agriculture Luc Berthold said in a letter to Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

    “My colleagues and I have heard from a number of canola producers who have been told by the Canadian Canola Growers Association that the enhancements promised by you three weeks ago are not yet available,” he wrote.

    The time period is “like an eternity” for canola producers under the current circumstances, Berthold added, suggesting the government needs to fix the situation immediately. 

    “Minister, it is irresponsible for you to make an announcement and not be able to follow through in a timely manner,” Berthold wrote. “It is unacceptable that the only concrete measure that your government has taken to help canola producers is stalled.”

    Earlier this month, the federal Liberals promised financial aid to canola farmers in an attempt to lessen the impact of China’s decision to ban their products as an apparent part of a trade dispute.

    The announcement changed a program that advances farmers money against the expected value of their crops, raising loan limits to $1 million from $400,000 and upping an interest-free portion to $500,000 from $100,000.

    In a statement, Bibeau did not specifically respond to the concern about delays in the loan program but she stressed the government is working hard to address the canola issue along with farmers and industry.

    “We know that Canada has the best canola in the world and we are providing support to our farmers to help them manage the impact of current market disruptions,” she said.

    China has rejected Canadian canola seeds in recent months and barred shipments from two of Canada’s biggest exporters in what is considered retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has called for the Liberals to take a more confrontational approach with China, suggesting Canada needs to appoint a new ambassador, launch a complaint about the canola dispute with the World Trade Organization and cut Canadian funding to China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to which the government has committed $256 million over five years.

    International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr has said there is agreement across the sector, including with provincial governments and producers, that Canada should engage China on the basis of its allegation, which is that there are impurities in canola that has been sent by Canada to China. Canadian requests for evidence have produced no meaningful replies, the government says, and inspections in Canada have found no evidence of contamination.

    China imported $2.7 billion worth of Canadian canola seed last year and there are concerns that a prolonged blockage will hurt farmers, the industry and the overall economy.

    —Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

    Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

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