The report to which I referred was buried by DFO and
it came to me, 7 years later, in the height of the fray, in the
traditional brown envelope.
None of this was explored by the media except Ben Meisner of CJPG in Prince George and me on CKNW - “explored” is hardly the term for we fought like cornered Tigers.
This leaked report had considerable influence on the BC Utilities Commission whose findings prompted then Premier Harcourt to tube KCP.
One of my treasured possessions is a poster showing a salmon jumping up a waterfall which all the “dissident” scientists signed in my honour. They were wonderful men. One of them, Gordon Hartman, was my constant adviser during the fight.
Please forgive me if I sound egocentric but what I’m telling you is the truth. Amongst the media I was first and perhaps only member supporting Alexandra Morton from the beginning. I reported DFO threats to arrest Ms Morton for “illegal testing” Pink Salmon smolts and their own fake testing in the wrong place, at the wrong time and with the wrong tools. I helped expose the ridiculous DFO denial of escaping farmed fish and its idiotic advice to the Provincial government.
Editorial after editorial I pointed out that the same government department mandated to protect our salmon (DFO) were official shills for the fish farm industry.
The story is a long one but I simply emphasize that the media, especially the then Canwest (now in drag as Postmedia) and the Black Press were silent throughout.
The 2003 memo recently made public via the Cohen Commission on collapsing Fraser sockeye stocks contains some truly shocking passages for their candour and for how clearly they vindicate those who have been critical of DFO’s salmon farm science. (emphasis mine) Written by a respected DFO scientist, Dr. Brent Hargreaves, the memo severely attacks the credibility of a colleague, key salmon farm apologist Dr. Dick Beamish, whose science Hargreaves labels as “shoddy” and “unethical”, among other pejoratives. Here are a couple of choice passages:
“The research on sea lice that has been conducted by Beamish has been strongly and widely criticized in both the scientific community and the public media…I think to a large degree it was the inadequacies of Beamish’s research and conclusions that led to the lack of public confidence in DFO science…
...I also do not want to be directly associated, either professionally or personally, with either Beamish or his research…He always does exactly as he pleases, regardless of the (often negative) impacts on DFO staff and research programs."
Here we have the scientist responsible for the Campbell/Clark government’s policy on fish farms exposed as “shoddy science” and Beamish as a shill for the Fish Farmers, and the print media does not consider this of any interest to the great unwashed! Imagine the millions of fish that died because the provincial government followed Beamish not Hargreaves!
The Vancouver Sun is “Seriously Westcoast"???
Better late than never, I suppose, but the media owes the public big time and that debt must be paid by full coverage of environmental issues even when to do so upsets advertisers.
Postmedia using Freedom of Information, did, to their credit, expose the egregious silencing of Kristi Miller. Are they, then, making amends?
Let’s hope so, although I’m bound to say that the environmentalist community has found ways around the "see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil" monkey business of the mainstream media.
But it could do with all the help it can get, including a media that may finally have found its tongue.