Aerial view of a Mowi Canada West salmon farm in British Columbia.

Is Canada poised to axe net-pen salmon farming in BC today?

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Canada’s federal fisheries minister Diane Lebouthillier will today make an announcement on the “path forward” for salmon farming in British Columbia.

The announcement comes two days after an article in the Globe and Mail newspaper quoted unnamed sources who say that the Liberal minority federal government intends to move ahead with its 2019 campaign commitment to put an end to open-net salmon fish farms in coastal BC waters but give the sector five years to adapt.

The exact details, including a transition plan for the operators and fish farm workers, were not shared with the Globe and Mail.

The BC Salmon Farmers’ Association (BCSFA) said in a statement that the plan described in the article does not reflect a “realistic, responsible and achievable” approach to a transition, as Lebouthillier has publicly stated.

The minister will be joined by Taleeb Noormohamed, MP for the urban BC constituency of Vancouver Granville, for the announcement, which is due to be made at a press conference in Ottawa at 4pm Eastern Standard Time (9pm BST).

Fifteen minutes after Lebouthillier's announcement, federal energy and natural resources minister Jonathan Wilkinson, will make an announcement about wild Pacific salmon protection in Vancouver. He will be joined by citizens’ services minister Terry Beech, and Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray, who was Lebouthillier's predecessor as fisheries minister and is a vociferous opponent of open net pen salmon farming.