A member of the New Democratic Party of Canada, Fin Donnelly, is the latest pawn of anti-salmon farming activist and zealot, Alexandra Morton.
In early July, she started an E-petition with the House of Commons to amend the Fisheries Act.
Named Bill C-228, the amendment aims to remove all salmon aquaculture from Western Canadian waters under the pretence that wild populations of salmon "are under threat from disease, pollutants, and sea lice originating from open net-cage fish farms".
Donnelly, MP for Port Moody-Coquitlam, introduced the Bill, which would require West Coast finfish aquaculture to transition rapidly from open net-cage fish farms to "safe and reliable closed containment facilities".
"There's a ton of people who are getting behind this, thinking it's a win-win for wild salmon and for the fish-farming industry," he told local media.
"If the fish-farming industry wants to move forward, closed containment offers them that solution."
However, the economic and ecological footprint that would be incurred in order to produce the same quantity and quality of salmon as what is produced by farming in the ocean has been shown to be outrageous, and simply not sustainable.
Using common sense
The rationale for the amendment as stated on the E-petition website (https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-463) is mired by inaccuracies and deliberate misinformation that Canadians have come to expect from Ms Morton.
For example, the petition claims that "In 2015, the Federal Court of Canada ordered Fisheries & Oceans Canada to stop granting licenses that allow transfer of disease-carrying farmed salmon into ocean net pens without Ministerial oversight".
This misleading statement implies that prior to the assessment, salmon farmers were transferring diseased fish to ocean pens. On the contrary, all smolts transferred to the ocean are vaccinated against several pathogens, and are disease-free.
Additionally, the petition states that "over 80% of BC farmed salmon appear infected with the highly contagious piscine reovirus associated with heart disease in salmon".
The very virus that Morton and her crew of activists aboard the Sea Shepherd vessel Martin Sheen have been desperately trying to find over the last couple months during the "research mission" Operation Virus Hunt.
The very virus that researchers have known for a while to be ubiquitous in the marine environment. And more importantly, the virus that researchers have been unsuccessful at inducing disease symptoms associated with HSMI (heart and skeletal muscle inflammation) in salmon.
The premise of the online petition is flawed and based on non-factual accusations by Ms Morton.
And while manipulating politicians and scientists alike, she stands to send thousands of Canadians to unemployment without batting an eyelash, all the while causing more harm to the iconic BC wild salmon she apparently wants to save.