Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves


with 4 comments

I don’t usually write about my present job here, but this morning was so unusual that it set me thinking and then I came across this Globe and Mail article.

Native fishermen on the lower Fraser River got their first opportunity to set nets for sockeye salmon last night amid concerns that the run might be so small there will be few other openings.

“It’s our first chance and it could be our last,” Grand Chief Clarence Pennier of the Sto:lo Tribal Council said yesterday as community members prepared to go out on the river.

It is pretty quiet most of the time on the Canoe Pass/Westham Island Bridge (it’s the same bridge – both names are in common usage). This morning in the space of four hours it opened more times than in the whole of the last four days.

“Only after the last fish has been caught …” is a Cree prophecy – I have a poster of it from a hereditary chief.

I have a very sad feeling that we may be seeing that in the case of the Fraser sockeye. The habitat has been systematically destroyed ever since Europeans arrived here. But the warming of the water is, I think, the final straw. Many years of over fishing – and the disgrace of putting fish farms in the middle of wild salmon runs – did not help either. But global warming has already brought new species into our waters – and the development of the port will see much more salmon habitat go, as will the construction of the SFPR.

Maybe the fishermen are just doing what the people who are buying SUVs are doing. It is the last hurrah. The world will be different – and no-one will be able to eat fresh Fraser salmon or afford to drive a honking big truck for no good reason any more. So make the most of it for now.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm

4 Responses

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  1. My passion is wild salmon,I have seen run after run after run disappear,I don`t believe its the warmer water I believe its mainly habitat destruction and fish farms,Campbell is in no hurry to save wild salmon,the reason is simple,if the salmon are gone there would be no reason to stop run of river!

    What I keep trying to tell everyone is,especially city planners, that there is no way known to man(western man) to put in or build communities near salmon watersheds without killing salmon.That is one of the reasons I am so offended by the WFP land giveaway on vancouver island,now developers and city planners think(foolishly I might add)they can put in roads, septic,transmission lines and all the other crap that goes with development.

    There have been many salmon killers through BCs history,logging,mining,development,etc but these latest threats just astonish me –FISH FARMS–RAIL CARS FULL OF TOXINS FALLING INTO RIVERS AND LAKES–RUN OF RIVER–THE WORST OFFENDER IS GORDON CAMPBELL—-He has relaxed logging practices,he has dismantled the enviromental assessment agencies,at a time when we know so much about salmon and how to save them to just toss out the rules for the sake of CAMPBELLS CORPORATE CRIMINAL FREINDS—CAMPBELL is going to hell when he dies,he can`t even get the gas truck and a handful of cars off the bottom at robson bite—Barry Penner stated in estimates debate in the spring session of the BC legislature that he and his ministry were going to put it out to tender(to get the stuff lifted off the bottom by a qualified company) in june of this year and it shouldn`t take much more than a year to get this project started,Penner went on to say that he and the bc liberals were concerned over the cost to the taxpayers (even though the federal gov has volenteered half the money) –The shit been down there a year already and CAMPBELLS phoney bunch of lying assholes have tens of millions of dollars for carbon tax ads,but they haven`t got 1million to get a few items off the bottom!!!!—–Penner your going to hell too.

    Super natural BC—-What a joke,Campbell brain is mush from booze, he cares about no one but himself and corporations profits,can`t any of you see the horns and tail when you look at Campbell

    Grant g

    July 21, 2008 at 10:37 pm

  2. You can’t blame “city planners” for the failure of the federal government to enforce the fisheries act over many decades and over millions of watershed hectares subject to industrial logging. Urban areas are strictly regulated directly by DFO staff and municipal environmental services staff, and every project is subject to review.

    You can’t blame “city planners” for the WFP backroom deal.

    You can’t blame “city planners” for the sins of the retreaded Socreds under Campbell.

    You can’t blame “city planners” for the massive salmon migration to the colder waters of the Berring Sea, nor for the warming North Pacific.

    You can’t blame “city planners” for the policies and decisions made by politicians, many of whom don’t want to change from the 1950s subdivision model.

    You can’t blame “city planners,” a group who now largely want sustainable communuties, smart growth principles and the protection of ESAs, when such progressive policies are ignored.

    I would say with the huge challenges ahead we need more planning — especially the long-range variety — than ever before.


    July 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm

  3. Meredith—-I was not refering to you—-Gordon Campbell is the city planner,everything comes from the top down,is it not Campbells vision and policies that really decide how cities,infrastructure and development proceed, I am well aware that the “lowly” city planners have zero say and zero decision making ability,they are merely public servants serving the masters! In this case the fool that these servants are folling is that asshole Gordon Campbell—A man(with horns and a tail) who has attacked the ALR—The liveable region stragies–Has taken the enviromental assessment office and turned it into a rubber stamp—Has over-ridden every local,municipal and regional goverment, I can`t think of one time Campbell has erred on the side of the enviroment or the people.

    The collaspe of the east coast cod fishery wass do to bottom dragging,it destroyed the nursery for baby cod and the sad part about it is , the feds knew it,so did the newfoundland goverment but they didn`t have the balls to stop it (they wanted the votes)
    Campbell knows that run of river will kill more fish,CN who was given BCrail by the theif Campbell has run the rail like children and killed millions of fish,Barry Penner is just a yes man, the land release to WFP means that they can now log it without scrutiny,in other words,they can log to the rivers edge,log steep slopes,log only the super high priced old growth forests, and after they cleared the river views,the lake views,then they will develop the pristine,prime lots or in laymans terms,the sensitive areas.
    Part 2 —-The next step is transmission lines, once development has started the need for power will come and guess what,they aren`t going to run little ol lines for a few thousand homes no, they are going to run lines with the capacity for tens of millions.

    Part 3 —Now there will be lines to the southern tip of vancouver island, at the same time run of river projects (owned by american corporations) will be spreading through out these private lands and crown lands all for the purpose of supplying California power! —No more salmon,no say over the power to the USA,our BC hydro rates will rise to meet Californias power rate and there will be NO BENIFIT TO BCERS FROM SELLING THIS POWER,JUST LOST HABITAT,LOST SALMON,LOST CONTROL OF OUR OWN RESOURCES,ALL FOR THE BENEFIT OF CAMPBELLS RICH,GREEDY,CORPORATE FREINDS!!!!

    Meredith don`t keep taking it to heart when I use the words “city planner” for I am probably refering to the EVIL DEMON WITH HORNS AND TAIL –Gordon (theif,liar,drunk,loser,con artist,) Campbell

    Grant g

    July 22, 2008 at 3:26 pm

  4. Gordo may be many things, but he is definately not a planner.


    July 23, 2008 at 12:22 pm

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