Terrible coverage of Salmon Migration Rally in Victoria


A letter to the Victoria Times-Colonist:

I am most disappointed in your coverage of the “Salmon Migration” rally held in Victoria on Saturday afternoon, so disappointed in fact, I am seriously considering canceling my subscription to your paper. The protection of salmon from everything that endangers their survival is of paramount importance, not only for coastal British Columbians but for humanity as a whole. You chose to place the results of a rugby game on the front page with a skimpy, poorly written and inaccurate piece about the rally on page 3, how ridiculous; where are your social priorities?

By the way, I am a sports fan and a huge follower of the UVIC Vikes; in fact I played for the Vikings for the first 4 years of their existence. They deserved great newspaper coverage after that massive win over JBAA, but in the sports section, not the front page, especially when an event of such social significance took place on the same day. I find it hard to believe your reporters Katie DeRosa and Judith Lavoie were actually at the rally. They report “nearly 1000 people crowed Government Street” but failed to report, a conservative estimate of over 4000 people were on the lawn of the legislature. Almost half of their report then migrates into the validity of the science involved and there is an inference in the article that the information provided by the salmon farming industry is somehow more believable than that of their opponents. That’s like believing information from Exxon regarding the probability of a tankers ending up on the rocks in Prince William Sound. Actually the accuracy of Alexandra Morton’s science is of little significance because if there is only a 10% chance she is right then DFO has a duty to all Canadians to put an end to that risk by eliminating open net salmon farms, especially on wild salmon migration routes, or moving them to dry land. Would we tolerate oil tankers in Georgia Straight if we thought every tenth one would leak? For a citizen, if caught harming salmon habitat or so much as 1 undersized or out of season salmon, there are serious consequences prescribed by law yet the Salmon farming industry seems to do these things with impunity and it almost appears with the blessings of DFO. Alexandra Morton and her supporters are seeking to have the laws protecting salmon and salmon habitat applied to the industry as well as the citizens.

You had the opportunity to cover an issue of massive significance to British Columbians and the world with colour photos of the legislature lawn covered with protestors; good people, many of whom traveled a great distance to support the protection of a resource of incalculable value. You failed miserably, becoming a “small town rag” and an expensive way to start the fireplace. It is little wonder newspapers across Canada are struggling financially, many, if not most are simply not worth the paper they are printed on.