Premier John Horgan’s constituency office targeted by salmon farm protesters

Premier John Horgan's constituency office targeted by salmon farm protesters

WATCH: Fish farm protesters targeted the premier’s constituency office on Friday.  They put a lock on the front door.  And some are vowing to camp outside the office until the province changes its bans the industry. Mary Griffin reports.

On Friday, fish farm protestors expected to be inside John Horgan’s constituency office.  But locked out, they took their protest outside.

Bobby Arbess, with Fish Farms Out Now, says he’s fighting to get salmon farms out of coastal waters.

“Thirty years First Nations people have been fighting against these floating mortuaries,” Arbess said.

This is the latest in a series of actions targeting NDP cabinet ministers.  Last month, salmon farm protesters occupied Agriculture Minister Lana Popham’s Saanich constituency office and Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser’s Port Alberni office.  The focus of the protesters’ attention is the concentration of salmon farms near Alert Bay.

A group of First Nations occupied a salmon farm operated by Norwegian-owned Marine Harvest in late August.

They say they won’t leave until the provincial and federal governments revoke the company’s licenses.

Earlier this week, the premier and some members of his cabinet accepted an invitation from first nations to Alert Bay to listen to concerns about the 23 salmon farms in the region.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham released a statement on Friday.

“I hear and understand the concerns being raised by First Nations and members of the public. At the same time, it is important to recognize that the industry now generates nearly $800 million in annual value, while supporting numerous jobs,” Popham said in the statement.

The BC Salmon Farmers Association also released a statment.

“Salmon farms have legally operated in this area for the past 30 years, our members remain committed to meeting with First Nations to deal with their concerns…we have a history of finding solutions to difficult issues.”

“We are going to escalate actions until Horgan takes a position against fish farms,” says Graeme Bousada with Fish Farms Out Now.

Protesters put their own lock on the door and vow to keep fighting.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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