This paper was authored by Jesse Zeman of the BCWF Allocation Committee in response to the Trumpy Report (Harvest Allocation Policy Review)
It took three years for representatives of the British Columbia Wildlife Federation, the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, and BC’s Ministry of Environment to come to agreement on a new wildlife allocation policy. The process started in 2004 and the “new” BC Allocation Policy was partially implemented, rather than fully implemented starting in 2007 to give the Guide Outfitters some time to adjust their business practices. We are now in the fifth year of the interim implementation of the policy, with full implementation scheduled to occur in 2012 as guaranteed in writing by Tom Eithier, Director of Wildlife, and in person by the Honourable Barry Penner, then Minister of Environment, at the 2010 BCWF annual general meeting.
It now appears that these may have been idle promises as the Wildlife Branch has appointed Chris Trumpy, a past ADM for MOE, as a contractor to “complete an analysis of the affects of implementation of the current allocations policy on the guide outfitting industry.” The situation with GOABC is currently being described by government officials as “explosive” because at least some members of GOABC are aggressively challenging the full implementation of the policy in 2012. We believe that the review by Chris Trumpey is a direct result of intense lobbying by GOABC and from political pressure on GOABC’s behalf by Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett.
When it became know that the government contracted Chris Trumpy to review the allocation policy, Mike Langegger of the Northwest Fish and Wildlife Conservation Association wrote an eloquent letter to Tom Either that well describes the concerns of resident hunters. Mike has recently received a Fish and Wildlife Branch’s response to the letter, and the tone of the letter should be a concern to resident hunters, as it does not indicate that that allocation policy will be fully implemented in 2012 as promised. Instead it talks about concerns, fairness, and economic hardship. You can read Mike’s letter and Ian Hatter’s response for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Resident hunters from around the province are approaching their MLAs to express their concern that the Trumpy review of the allocation policy will unacceptably delay the full implementation of the policy in 2012, and may even open the policy up for renegotiation before it is even implemented. Trumpy’s mandate allows him to make recommendations on just about all aspects of the allocation policy. It’s time that politicians hear the voice of the 80,000 plus resident hunters in BC and make those politicians understand that decisions that erode resident priority will have political fallout. Go to your local MLA and ask him or her what they know about the allocation policy review and make sure they understand your position as a resident hunter.
Cohen’s Interim Report Gets an “F”
John Cummins, M.P.
Delta- Richmond East
November 8, 2010
Cohen’s Interim Report Gets an “F”
OTTAWA– The Cohen Inquiry has issued its first report three months late. The report weighs in at 680 grams or nearly 1½ pounds and has 302 pages. If prizes were awarded for weight or number of pages the report would be given high marks; for content it warrants an “F”.
The Inquiry was established on November 5, 2009 and was ordered to submit an interim report by August 1st setting out Justice Cohen’s assessment of (i) previous investigations he considered relevant to his inquiry into the Fraser River salmon fishery and (ii) the government’s action to implement their recommendations.
The dictionary says that an “assessment” evaluates or judges the value or quality of something. Cohen was never asked to summarize previous studies, he was asked to evaluate or judge the value or quality of both them and the government’s response. He did neither.
Cohen failed on all counts. His interim report does not contain any substantive assessments. Nowhere in the 302 pages of his report did he evaluate or judge the value or quality of previous studies or of the government’s response to them.Instead of selecting investigations which were directly relevant to his inquiry,
Cohen simply summarizes the recommendations of 22 different reports. Some were noteworthy but most were inconsequential.
Instead of making substantive assessments of how the government implemented or failed to implement recommendations, he merely summarized in point form what the government claimed to have done.
Fishermen have not forgotten that the investigations by Peter Pearse, John Fraser and Bryan Williams all heard considerable evidence of widespread and ongoing problems in the administration and enforcement of aboriginal fisheries.
Their reports contained a long series of recommendations with regard to addressing the problems in the administration and enforcement. This interim report paid scant attention to these issues.
There are many references to the Supreme Court’s decision in Sparrow, but only one to the Van der Peet decision and it made no mention of the fact that the court rejected a Sto:lo claim to an aboriginal right to sell or trade salmon, an issue central to many of the fisheries management and enforcement problems on the Fraser.
The interim report sets out the various technical and scientific studies that the Inquiry has established yet seems blind to the obvious problem of using former DFO staff to conduct such work when the inquiry has as its first order of business a review of DFO departmental management policies and practices.
In addition it is never explained why the commission is undertaking such work.
Cohen’s terms of reference never requested such scientific studies. Furthermore the interim report was never to be a recitation of what the commission was doing, its sole task was to evaluate or judge the value or quality of previous studies and the government’s implementation of their recommendations.
At no time does Cohen explain why he failed to make the required assessments.
While DFO is undoubtedly relieved at not having to face any assessment of their failures to implement earlier investigations, Cohen’s inaction is not something that can be put at the door of DFO.
It was Cohen’s job and he failed to do it.
Cohen claims that his staff “toiled long hours to get the commission in operation as quickly and efficiently as possible.” Fishermen might be tempted to ask to what end?
Cohen and his staff have clearly wasted their first year. There is nothing in this interim report on how DFO might make changes in its management of the 2011 fishery. Most importantly this is not the report that was asked for nor is it what fishermen had reason to hope for when the Cohen Inquiry was established one year ago.
Contact: John Cummins, M.P.
(613) 992-2957, (cell) (604) 970-0937, (604) 940-8040 or www.johncummins.ca
Vancouver, BC – So, you thought Canada’s fish resources were owned by the public. Not according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), says The BC Wildlife Federation.
On October 18 the public will be prohibited from retaining halibut for the rest of the year while private interests continue to harvest this species. Once again, the Harper government, through the actions of DFO, skewers coastal communities in BC by depriving them of economic opportunities from the recreational fishery. Why? Because, in contravention of the Fisheries Act, our federal government has gifted 88% of the total allowable catch quota of halibut to 327 private businessmen to dispose of as they choose.
“Over half of this commercial quota is not even being fished by the original quota recipients,” said Wayne Harling, a member of BCWF’s Tidal Water Fisheries Committee. “Instead, they lease ‘their’ quota annually for $2 -$3 per pound (in some cases, this amounts to more than $100,000) and retire to warmer climates at the expense of the Canadian public. And that gift was permanent which means that their quota can be sold or passed on to relatives in perpetuity, even if the recipients never fish for halibut”.
“This gifting of halibut quota is just the tip of the iceberg”, said Paul Rickard, also a member of BCWF’s Tidal Water Fisheries Committee .” Unless there is a public uproar over this give-away, of halibut, DFO intends to go the same route for all commercially-caught fish and shellfish on the Pacific coast. All Canadians who value our public fishery should contact Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea to voice their concern.”
For further information, please contact Patti MacAhonic, Executive Director, BCWF, at 604-291-9990 extension 230 or 604-308-1914. www.bcwf.bc.ca
The Resident Angler and Hunter Preservation Fund has purportedly been blamed for the cancellation of the Special Premier’s Permits for Roosevelt Elk and sheep.
In March of 2009, Greg Sawchuck, BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) Representative on the Special Premier’s Permits Committee received an email from the Director of Fish & Wildlife requesting the BCWF position on the following options. The three-year contract for the Special Premier’s Permits is up and the contract needs to be renewed to continue.
1) Disconnecting the Roosevelt Elk Permit
2) Continuing with a resident only Roosevelt Elk Permit
3) Continuing with a resident only Mountain Sheep Permit
4) Continuing with the non resident auctioned Mtn Sheep Permit
The BCWF President requested the BCWF Allocation Committee provide recommendations to the BCWF Board of Directors (BOD). It was the Allocation Committee’s understanding that the GOABC did not support the Premier’s Roosevelt Elk Permit.
The BCWF Allocation committee recommended that a resolution be drafted and presented on the floor of the BCWF annual general meeting in Fernie in April, 2009. The following resolution was put forward and passed by the delegates at the BCWF AGM:
As you can see, with legitimate reasoning, the delegates at the 2009 BCWF AGM voted against any change in the direction and policy related to the Premier’s Special Permits. The RAHPF, which hadn’t even been formed at that point, had nothing to do with the vote at the AGM. It was a government decision to cancel the permit, so one must assume that the Ministry of Environment was not happy with the status quo and wants to change the direction or policy of the Premier’s Special Permits. We also know that GOABC withdrew their support for the Roosevelt Elk Premier’s permit, so we have to assume that influenced the MoE’s decision. Neither the BCWF not the RAHPF can accept responsibility for the government decision—government had the option of keeping things they way they were.
The RAHPF does support the direction that the membership provided at the 2009 BCWF AGM.
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