Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fishing Columnist Speaks Out About Cohen Commission

Oi, paddlers along BC's coast! Check out D.C. Reid's column On Fishing in today's Times-Colonist, published today. He's titled it "Make your voice heard in the fight to save B.C. salmon."

Y'see, it's time to do more than just feel sad about how human activities are affecting the salmon runs in BC rivers. Standing up at demonstrations does let us count the number of people who are concerned, but it's only one small step. Keeping our kayaks out of streams when salmon are spawning is a personal action that we take. Now D.C. Reid has outlined two simple ways to make our concerns known to our elected officials who can take effective action.

The first is to contact Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans at , and ask for her response to the Cohen Report. Her department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has not yet responded to the Cohen Report or its 75 recommendations made in October 2012. It's been 15 months, and a response is needed!
The second is to get a pdf from the Auditor General for Canada showing how to make a request through its environmental petition process. Then send your request to its director Roger B. Hillier at . Perhaps you too would like to know the DFO's plans and funding for resolving the 75 recommendations of the Cohen Report.

If there are enough requests of this kind, the Auditor General can launch an audit into this issue. I attended local hearings in 2011 of the Cohen Commission on the salmon fisheries. The Cohen Report has had no official response at all.

If you've never contacted a government office before, don't hesitate. These offices exist to serve us as citizens and answer these kinds of questions. Write a polite, brief note.

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