Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for the week of September 12th

comment

Page 4 of 5

Cheering squad thanks

On Sept. 7, 2013, I, along with thousands of others, completed the 2013 RBC GranFondo Whistler.

On behalf of all the participants, I would like to offer my heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers and all the people from Vancouver to Whistler who came out to cheer us on.

The volunteers and people cheering were simply amazing, and even though I didn't have the energy to wave to all of them or say thank you, I know that all participants sincerely appreciate the time and energy they put into the event.

I also want to say thank you to the other participants for all the energy, drive, encouragement and camaraderie everyone showed from start to finish.  

Joel Nitikman

Burnaby

No government response to Cohen Inquiry Final Report

The Squamish to Whistler Fisheries Roundtable greatly appreciates the dialogue we've had with MP John Weston over the last several years, especially his work in facilitating the 2009 announcement of the Inquiry into the Decline of Fraser River Sockeye.

We watched intently as Justice Bruce Cohen led the investigation that produced 33 expert and policy and practice reports, compelled over 180 witnesses to take the stand, and resulted in more than 14,000 pages of testimony transcripts. In the end, the $26 million dollar inquiry culminated on October 31st, 2012, when Justice Cohen released his final synthesis report and recommendations to government.

We welcomed Justice Cohen's comprehensive and thoughtful recommendations and hoped many, if not all, of these recommendations would be fully implemented in a timely manner.

On the same day, in a DFO news release (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/npress-communique/2012/hq-ac33-eng.htm) dated Oct. 31, 2012, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Randy Kamp, said, "We will continue to work with stakeholders and partners, and review the Justice Cohen's findings and recommendations very carefully."

Unfortunately, this is the last Canadians have heard from government on this crucial investigation funded at their expense, that ultimately made recommendations on how to protect and sustain sockeye salmon for future generations.

This is unacceptable, especially when significant salmon fishery closures have occurred on the Fraser River once again this year, along with predictions of high in-river mortality of migrating sockeye.

Currently, we are concerned Fraser sockeye — including endangered stocks — will be by-catch and harmed as a result of the pink salmon fishery. Action needs to occur to ensure the management of Fraser sockeye and other salmon is improved via implementation of the Cohen Inquiry recommendations, which were so thoroughly researched.

We are interested in learning:

• Who in Ottawa is responsible for reviewing the report and can speak to detail on it?

• What stakeholders and partners have participated in reviewing the report?

• What are the details of the report review process in Ottawa to date and the timeline for a response to participants of the inquiry and the general public?

It was good to meet with John Weston in Squamish on July 9 to discuss this issue and others and we continue to appreciate all the time he makes for discussing salmon and habitat issues with us.

We look forward to continuing our discussions with him and to a timely reply to our questions.

Dave Brown, vice chair Squamish to Lillooet Sportfish Advisory Committee,

Honorable John Fraser and Randall Lewis, Squamish First Nation