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Letter: Sneaky second wave of Vikings invading N.L.

Rainbow trout. — 123RF stock photo
FILE PHOTO

Haven’t we been through this already? Splitting Phase 1 (hatchery) from Phase 2 (open-net pens) is a violation of the Environment Act and is the definition of project splitting. Did Marine Harvest not get the memo? Government quite correctly decided in 2017 that, indeed, this stunt was in contravention of the act and required Grieg to re-register their Placentia Bay scheme to include the hatchery and open-net pens as a single project.

Moreover, I would expect a full EIS to be demanded after the public shows “significant concern” and/or there is a “potential for significant negative environmental effects” as stated in Part X of the act and Section 25 of the regulations.

Related stories:

Expansion of Indian Head Salmon Smolt Hatchery undergoing environmental assessment

Marine Harvest setting up aquaculture operations in N.L

It seems that government doesn’t consider the ecocidal open net pen method of finfish rearing to even have the “potential” for significant negative environmental effects as stated in the act despite the Supreme Court telling them otherwise just months ago. The Supreme Court, with great thanks to environmental heroes Owen Myers and ASF, has already given government a black eye for attempting this circumvention of our environmental regulations — just last winter! Now, while adding insult to injury and taxpayers’ bills, the same administration and Grieg are trying to have this “no brainer” ruling overturned in the Appeals Court!

The bills for this ecocidal, illegal tactic, during a pending bankruptcy of the entire province, are in excess of $2 million (more than twice what it cost to keep the libraries open).

Marine Harvest, a foreign Norwegian based transnational with a horrendous ecocidal record (Google “Marine Harvest and: smuggling, court, pesticides, salmon mortality, jail, lice, environment, industry meltdown, etc. etc.”), should not be trying to sneak this one in before the Supreme Court of Appeals rules on the Grieg EIS that was demanded by the Supreme Court in accordance with the act.

This, yet again, shows what mettle Marine Harvest is made of. Our current government is happy to throw our environment and the birthrights of future generations under the Liberal bus and once again break their own laws. I guess the 10s of millions in taxpayer freebies will come later, just like the $10 million of ACOA funding did for Grieg. A government signed MOU of a $45 million co-investment might even be floated once again while they continue to be a regulator. Google “regulatory capture.”

The fact that government even accepted the Marine Harvest a.k.a. Northern Harvest application, as is, with the re-attempt at project splitting suggests they have learned little from the previous plot that attempted this. Trying to ignore the massive shift to land-based, closed-containment rearing of salmonids globally shows just how desperate both Grieg and Marine Harvest are to not invest in infrastructure that results in more stable job creation and is environmentally more sound. Seven closed-containment, land-based salmon production projects, all nearly equal to or larger than the entire N.L. annually salmon production, have been announced in the last 18 months with two as close as Maine, one in Norway, and others of a less megaproject scale in far flung regions like Iceland. I guess we are considered a banana republic by the Norwegian open-net pen users. Pity the staff at Environmental Assessment being flogged by this administration.

Bill Bryden

Lumsden

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