Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A cutout of a sockeye salmon is raised above the crowd during a demonstration to coincide with the start of the Cohen Commission Inquiry into the 2009 decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday October 25, 2010. (Darryl Dyck/ The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck/ The Canadian Press)
A cutout of a sockeye salmon is raised above the crowd during a demonstration to coincide with the start of the Cohen Commission Inquiry into the 2009 decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday October 25, 2010. (Darryl Dyck/ The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck/ The Canadian Press)

Regional report

Fishy fallout from federal election Add to ...

Prominent B.C. biologist Alexandra Morton was not even running in the federal election but she feels completely defeated by the election of Stephen Harper's majority government. In a speech to the Association of Professional Biologists, she frankly admitted she was ready to call it quits on her aggressive campaign against open-net fish farms.

More related to this story

"I just don't know what else I can do," Ms. Morton told Nanaimo's Daily News. "My efforts to try and save the wild salmon seem to be impossible. I'm broke and I have to survive."

The biologist told the newspaper she sometimes feels sorry that she went to the Broughton Archipelago in the early 1980s. "The research myself and others have done doesn't seem to be acceptable and our calls for the separation of wild and farmed salmon doesn't happen," she said.



...................................................................



The election created an uncomfortable moment for at least one Conservative MP. Kamloops-Thompson Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod was suddenly tongue-tied when Kamloops This Week sought out her views on the current MP pension scheme.

MPs are eligible for their pensions after serving six years. Nine defeated or retiring MPs from B.C. are eligible for pension benefits. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Liberal MP Keith Martin has a pension that adds up to $3.9-million; Conservative MP Gary Lunn, $2.2-million; and Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, $830,000.

"[Ms.] McLeod wouldn't tell KTW if she favoured the dollar-for-dollar formula, noting there hasn't been a discussion in her government to change the formula," the newspaper reported.



...............................................................



On the subject of defeat and retirement of former MPs, B.C. lost four prominent Conservative voices with the election. Former cabinet ministers Stockwell Day, Chuck Strahl and John Cummins retired and Gary Lunn was defeated. As Prime Minister Stephen Harper looks for new material in B.C. for the federal cabinet, The Whistler Question offered the suggestion of John Weston, the member from West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast- Sea to Sky Country.

"Weston had already proved through his first tenure as an MP that he has the ability to get things done in Ottawa," the newspaper wrote, adding that he has served on committees and had proposed a private member's bill to criminalize the procurement of ingredients for ecstasy and crystal meth .

"Perhaps it's time that [Mr.]Weston be given the chance to take on a more important role for his party. We can only speculate as to whether that could mean getting the call to cabinet, but if he does, we think he would be up to the task," the newspaper says.



................................................................



Dick Harris, chair of the Conservative party's B.C. caucus, is sorting out his priorities following the election. Mr. Harris told the Prince George Citizen one of his priorities will be to fix problems affecting the halibut industry. During the recent election campaign, sport fishermen pressed for changes to the halibut quota of one a day. They say commercial fishermen have 88 per cent of the quota. Sport fishermen in the U.S. have 20 to 36 per cent of the catch. Mr. Harris told the newspaper he liked the idea of an allotment of 12 halibut per year, per person, rather than a daily catch limit. "My personal preference would be that it's an annual quota where you get your tags and if you catch them all in one weekend, good for you. A lot of halibut fishermen can only make it out once a year," Mr. Harris said.



................................................................



Meanwhile in B.C. provincial politics:



Minister Blair Lekstrom has made a commitment to look for government funds to save the E & N Railway on Vancouver Island, reports the Nanaimo Daily News. The railway, which is 125 years old, requires $15-million in safety upgrades. Mr. Lekstrom told the Island Corridor Foundation he would request funding from the province's Treasury Board and would coordinate talks with the new federal transportation minister once Prime Minister Stephen Harper appoints his cabinet, the newspaper says. Graham Bruce, the foundation's executive director, says the railway, owned by vancouver Island communities, has potential to increase passenger and freight traffic.







In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular