Friday, July 27, 2018

MP Nathan Cullen turns travel agent with call for Fisheries Minister to visit Northwest

Jonathon Wilkinson was appointed to
the Fisheries and Coast Guard
portfolio in this months
cabinet shuffle
With  just ten days to get to used to the scope of his duties, newly installed Fisheries Minister Johnathon Wilkinson  is already getting the travel invitations, with NDP Skeena MP Nathan Cullen one of the first to suggest that the Minister set his compass for Northwest.

“Yesterday I invited the new minister to visit the Northwest and meet with representatives from Indigenous, recreational and commercial fishing sectors to hear first hand how difficult this year’s fishing season is,” ... “Immediate action is needed to deal with the salmon crisis on the West Coast.”

Mr. Cullen issued his invitation through his constituency website, providing some of the background to the NDP MP's thoughts on the new Minister, as well as some advice for the job ahead.

“The ocean is essential to the cultural and economic well-being of so many people in our region and along the whole West Coast,”

“I’m very pleased the government is acknowledging this with the appointment of a BC MP as the new fisheries minister, the first West Coast fisheries minister appointed since 1999.”

 “I hope Mr. Wilkinson will understand and act on the crisis that Northwest residents face with plummeting salmon stocks and a particularly tight fishing quota this summer.”

MP Nathan Cullen has called on the
new Federal Fisheries Minister to
explore the Northwest to learn more about
the challenges to the regional fishery
In addition to the suggestion of a tour to the North Coast to see first hand the state of the fishery, Mr. Cullen also made mention of the ongoing TransMountain pipeline debate in southern British Columbia.

With the Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP reinforcing the NDP's position that the pipeline expansion is not a positive step for the Federal government towards its goals of Marine protection.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Wilkinson has been a vocal supporter of the Liberal government’s reckless purchase of a 65-year-old leaky pipeline,” ... “Mr. Wilkinson has made protecting the remaining southern resident killer whales and the chinook salmon on which they depend a priority; I can only hope he will put these unique asserts of the BC coast ahead of the interests of oil corporations.”

“I hope Mr. Wilkinson listens to the concerns of BC residents regarding risks of this project to the federal government’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, the environment, and to the economy for blowing billions of taxpayer dollars and raises a strong voice in Cabinet against this ill-considered expansion.”

Mr. Cullen's invitation is just the latest correspondence that a Federal Fisheries Minister has found an invitation on his desk suggesting a trip to the region. 

Prince Rupert City Council had previously extended a letter of invitation to former Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc back in 2016, however the Minister never quite made it to the North Coast to explore issues of the fishery.

Mr. Wikinson was named to his new post earlier this month, part of mini cabinet shuffle that re-assigned current cabinet ministers and introduced some new names to the front benches of the government side of the House of Commons.

More notes related to the work of Mr. Cullen in Ottawa can be reviewed from our House of Commons archive page here.

Further notes of national interest can be explored through our D'Arcy McGee portal.

A wider overview of the fishery in British Columbia and Alaska can be found from our archive here.

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