After the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association requested a council declaration for an upcoming Aquaculture Awareness Week from Ucluelet and Tofino, the District of Tofino municipal council debated the idea and passed a motion (with two dissenting votes) to receive the correspondence for information, rather than to make it an action item.
Therefore, it might be considered incorrect to have a headline that reads the two towns’ councils took ‘opposite official views,’ as our headline said.
Tofino took no official position. And a majority vote to take something as an information item, although two councillors wished to take action, shouldn’t be considered
an official view.
Rather, in their respective chambers, the two councils voted and took different official approaches to the request. I’ve called on Andrew Bailey’s
good reporting on the meeting for this piece.
Tofino Coun. Dorothy Baert resisted what seemed to her a public relations campaign. She noted the council embraces broad social campaigns for social good, such as National Volunteer Week -and her passion for volunteerism is well-known and has inspired many, including the Westerly. Council doesn’t usually get declaration requests from private industry, Baert said. She also cited the very lengthy and complex Cohen Commission report, and conflicts with business operators.
Tofino Coun. Garth Cameron disagreed, saying salmon farming should be supported, and that Creative Salmon and Cermaq are valuable community assets, huge taxpayers and big employers.
Tofino Coun. Ray Thorogood also said the local aquaculture companies are doing a good job and are “huge” contributors to the community.
Ucluelet Coun. Geoff Lyons said he has toured their sites, and is confident the two companies are environmentally and ecologically sound, and providing a good solution to addressing global food needs as well as local jobs and economic diversification.
Mayor Bill Irving said a number of Ucluetians are employed in Clayoquot Sound aquaculture, and the entire West Coast benefits.
Ucluelet embraced the idea without debate, and voted unanimously to declare Sept. 21 week Aquaculture Awareness Week in Ucluelet.