Publication:

Valley Journal Advertiser - 2021-11-23

Data:

Port Williams

POLITICS

STILL NOT GETTING IT I have a hard time understanding that after almost two years, the Nova Scotia government is still trying to educate people and convince them to become vaccinated. Yes, two years — and we seem to have a lot of Nova Scotians who are either uneducated or just won’t listen. Is it now past time for unsuccessful education attempts to take a back seat to strict fines? We are seeing total disregard for others’ safety — friends, the elderly, children, and the list goes on. I can understand when health issues may prevent some individuals from being vaccinated, but it’s not acceptable for others to refuse on principle — invoking privacy and whatever other excuses. Look at the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in this province. One would think that this might prompt more action from the “uneducated,” or that, after two years of serious illness and death all around us, a lightbulb would come on in some people. BLATANT CONFLICT OF INTEREST The Nov. 16 report in The Chronicle Herald that a Cooke Aquaculture subsidiary open-net fish farm near Digby has been operating illegally for years is bad news on at least two counts. Apart from the ecological devastation that open-net fish farming entails, this illegal operation (acknowledged by the owners) speaks to a serious issue of our government’s very real conflict of interest in this area. The Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture — which surely has been well aware of this illegal activity — not only regulates but also provides financial support to this same company, thereby, in effect, allowing taxpayers’ dollars to be used to fund illegal activities. This practice is completely unacceptable from a fiduciary and ethical perspective, and accordingly the company’s current application should be denied and Cooke Aquaculture subject to appropriate sanctions. FISH-FARM HEARING A FARCE The Aquaculture Review Board hearing in Yarmouth last week regarding Cooke Aquaculture’s Rattling Beach, Digby County, application to expand its operations is a complete farce. The scientific community is barred from presenting evidence on Cooke’s horrific record of open-pen salmon feedlots in Nova Scotia and around the world. Only local individuals who are directly affected by the farm are accepted as interveners. The media is also prevented from recording proceedings, which is allowed at all other regulated hearings. Apparently, the new provincial Progressive Conservative government supports this discriminatory approach. A sad day for democracy in the province. When will it ever end? The phoney hearings should be boycotted until the “rubber stamp” Aquaculture Review Board is dissolved. Darrell Tingley Timberlea

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