Activism and the spread of misinformation about salmon farming – clearly meant to divide and polarize communities – poses an imminent threat to family supporting jobs primarily situated on Vancouver Island, election candidates told
By John Paul Fraser
As with every election, there are lots of issues confronting voters. The parties work hard to narrow the issues, then compete to be seen as best able to manage those issues.
Non-political parties and pressure groups do the same thing, though their work is mainly focused on steering voters towards preferred candidates.
Their tactics vary. One that’s tried and true is to challenge candidates to take a position through a candidate pledge. If the candidate signs the pledge, then she or he is championed. If not, they are condemned.
Simply put, the pledge is a threat. And this is what’s happening, again, when it comes to salmon farming. Candidates who sign the pledge to effectively get rid of the farms are safe, but from whom?
Activism and the spread of misinformation about salmon farming – clearly meant to divide and polarize communities – poses an imminent threat to family supporting jobs primarily situated on Vancouver Island.
You may have seen their work. Big city money, pumping ads into your social feeds.
For me to describe them here, or repeat their untruths, only gratifies the authors.
It isn’t rocket science. The objective is to demonize people, raise money, and demonize them some more. And lost in all the content, polls or gimmicks like pledges are the facts.
So, let’s focus on what’s happening outside this echo chamber. In a place called reality.
This is where actual people live and breathe. Some are veterinarians, or biologists or truck drivers. Others are engineers, or technicians or farm hands.
Their names are Terra, Linda, Heather, Bob and Jim. They are born here or have settled here. Indigenous and non-Indigenous people committed to growing low carbon, highly nutritious food for us and the world to eat.
Right here, in BC waters.
They know the truth. They know the science. They are passionate about their obligation to nature and to the protection of wild Pacific Salmon. But they are not immune to hurtful attacks on their character.
However, this is a very resilient bunch and I am proud to be among them. To us, this candidate pledge is just the latest tired broadside. But it’s also an opportunity.
So, to all candidates, currently being lobbied to take the pledge or feel the wrath, we sympathize with you – we know how it feels. And if you have yet to sign, or have signed but would like to know more, we invite you to take the time to give us a call.
Find out who we are and what we’re about. You might find that we’re a lot like you.
John Paul Fraser is the Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association
Image courtesy of Cermaq Canada shows a First Nations aquaculture worker at a fish farm in BC