VICTORIA, B.C. – Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, publicly released his Standing up for Wild Salmon report today outside the B.C. legislature. The report outlines the challenges facing B.C.’s wild salmon populations and highlights a proposed path forward, through the creation of a Wild Salmon Commissioner and supporting Wild Salmon Secretariat.
After making the initial pitch to the Premier in March, Olsen hosted representatives from a diverse range of fisheries backgrounds for a consultation forum where there was unanimous consensus on the need for a Wild Salmon Secretariat or Commissioner in B.C. Following his forum, Olsen presented their feedback to government along with a detailed proposal. Today’s public report is an extension of that work.
“Now is the time to appoint a champion for wild salmon,” said Olsen. “The crises facing BC’s wild salmon populations, while dire, provide opportunity for action: stakeholders, First Nations, the public and the commercial sector are aligned and eager for provincial leadership on this file like never before.”
A key finding from the Forum was the shared frustration of many participants in trying to deal with the provincial government to resolve salmon issues, having been passed from department to department because there was no single ministry in charge of the file. The proposed commissioner and secretariat would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government to see the big picture and ensure that all the fisheries work being done within the B.C. government is aligned towards a consistent, positive outcome. They would be a strong defender of wild salmon in negotiations with the federal government and work to rebuild declining stocks.
“Protecting wild salmon is a priority we share with the B.C. NDP government,” Olsen continued. “My hope is that they take today’s unified call as an opportunity to finally take action and establish a dedicated wild salmon representative responsible for this foundational B.C. species.”
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