Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not backing down on his vow to ban netpen farming in British Columbia by 2025.
In a letter sent Friday to the country's new Minister of Fisheries, Bernadette Jordan, Trudeau laid out the mandates for her to accomplish following her agreement to serve in the role.
"As Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, you will lead the government’s work to protect and promote our three oceans and our waterways, sustain and rebuild the fisheries, and ensure that they remain healthy for future generations, while providing important economic opportunities to Canadians and coastal communities," he wrote.
In particular, he wrote, one priority would be to deliver on completely phasing out netpen salmon by 2025 through "established legislative, regulatory and cabinet processes."
Trudeau directed Jordan to "work with the province of British Columbia and Indigenous communities to create a responsible plan to transition from open netpen salmon farming in coastal British Columbia waters by 2025 and begin work to introduce Canada’s first-ever Aquaculture Act."
In her own tweet Friday, Jordan thanked Trudeau for the letter and expressed her commitment to achieving the goals he has set out for her that she said include strengthening the sustainability of fisheries, protecting Canada's waters and marine habitats and supporting coastal communities.
Trudeau eked out a victory over Conservative party opponents in a tight election in October, throwing up huge question marks around the fate of the British Columbia salmon farming industry.
In a late-stage platform shift, Trudeau's Liberal Party issued a document calling for all BC salmon farms to move to closed-containment systems by 2025.
The salmon farming industry's reaction was swift -- and highly negative.
BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) Executive Director John Paul Fraser called the plan "unachievable," and said it would "lead to stagnation and significant unemployment in the British Columbia salmon farming industry."