North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney and Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan had a conversation on Monday about	the economic transition plan for Vancouver Island, following the minister’s Dec.17 announcement to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms by 2022 . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney and Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan had a conversation on Monday about the economic transition plan for Vancouver Island, following the minister’s Dec.17 announcement to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms by 2022 . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Fisheries minister, MP Blaney talk fish farm transition plans for Vancouver Island

Suggestions involve economic development summit for North Island with feds and regional stakeholders

Federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan told North Island -Powell River MP Rachel Blaney that Ottawa is still working on a transition “plan,” for Vancouver Island a month after the Dec. 17 decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island farms by 2022.

In a conversation with Jordan on Monday, the NDP whip told the minister that it was “unacceptable” to have announced the decision without any plan to support affected workers.

“The minister acknowledged that there was still a lot of work to be done with the industry and was hoping to hear from them directly on the impact and plans going forward, she said at this point, she’s still waiting for information and I’m sure the industry is working diligently on getting that to her,” said Blaney.

She also told the minister that moving forward, “multiple departments of the federal government” will have to provide support for this solution.

Along with considering a whole government approach, the minister has also committed to providing resources for the community but has not specified any amount yet, said Blaney.

To accelerate the process, suggestions were made to the minister to tap into the newly announced Regional Development Agency of BC as a possible driver for the economic transition.

“A regional approach is better suited than Ottawa telling us what to do,” said Blaney.

READ MORE: Rachel Blaney to meet fisheries minister to discuss economic transition plan for Vancouver Island re: fish farm decision

“I also talked to her about the reality that we need more initiatives and investments in this riding around supporting wild salmon and habitat restoration. And those are decent jobs that could really make a difference and also really see an improvement in our wild salmon stocks,” said Blaney.

Following the conversation, Blaney and North Island MLA Michele Babchuk sent a letter to minister Jordan asking the federal government to be part of an urgent regional economic development summit for north Vancouver Island communities.

In the letter, Babchuk and Blaney told the minister that hosting an economic summit for North Island to discuss and formulate the required steps for assistance and ongoing development will be vital for the transition plan that the federal government stated to support.

Keeping in line with their suggestion for a cross-government approach, the pair also extended the invitation to federal ministers of environment Jonathan Wilkinson and rural economic development Maryam Monsef to participate in the proposed economic summit.

In December, after the federal government announced the decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms after consultation with seven First Nations from the area, the aquaculture industry estimated a direct loss of over 1,500 jobs on northern Vancouver Island.

The federal government stated its commitment to supporting the transition process but is yet to provide further details about the plan.

The Mirror has reached out to Jordan’s office for a comment.

READ MORE: Canada ‘stole Christmas’ says Vancouver Island’s aquaculture industry

Federal PoliticsFish Farmsvancouverisland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health is expected to begin public consultations soon on its controversial plans to open a new wellness and recovery centre at 5878 York Road. (File photo)
Public consultations on Duncan wellness and recovery centre coming in February

Controversial facility on York Road scheduled to open in June

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Providence Health Care has teamed up with partners, including Island Health, to launch the first remote cochlear implant (CI) mapping program for adults in British Columbia. Duncan’s Alan Holt was one of the first to test it out. (Submitted)
Remote cochlear clinic offers shorter commute for patients like Duncan’s Alan Holt

Duncan man one of the first to test virtual mapping program

Larry Fiege, right, from Fiege’s Farm shows a rapt audience the old-fashioned way to tap a Bigleaf Maple during the Maple Syrup Festival at the BC Forest Discovery Centre Feb. 1 and 2, 2020. (Andrea Rondeau/Citizen)
Maple Syrup Festival in Duncan cancelled

The annual syrup festival is a popular event at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Second doses delayed as B.C. vaccine delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Most Read