|Adequate funding and strong connection to government - At a fundamental level, the commissioner and secretariat must have enough funding and connection to government to have a meaningful impact. The BC Green Caucus believes the most effective approach would be to have a Wild Salmon Commissioner and Secretariat appointed within the Premier’s office. Consideration was given to having an external salmon commissioner, operating at arm’s length from government, but we think direct connection to the Premier would be advantageous given their role in ensuring government’s wild salmon objectives are accomplished in a coordinated manner across ministries.|
|Strong First Nations connection - Any structure must reflect the inherent importance salmon have within Indigenous communities and allow the commissioner and secretariat to be guided by traditional knowledge. This would ensure a balanced approach in restoring BC’s relationship with wild salmon. One alternative idea was to appoint two joint commissioners, one of whom should be First Nations. Whether or not this option is chosen it is critical that First Nations and their corresponding rights and title are entrenched in the decision making process on this file.|
|Urgency - The commissioner should be appointed by Summer 2018. The crisis we are facing requires urgent action. Returns of Fraser River sockeye are critically low, populations of chinook, coho, and steelhead are struggling. Some runs are on the brink of extinction. The sooner we act, the better our opportunity for recovery will be.|
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