Re: “Ocean plan includes boost to coast guard,” June 1.
I am sharpening my “pitchfork” to go after a Department of Fisheries and Oceans decision. Why? Because in this article is the federal government announcement of the cutting of the Stream to Sea Education Program and funding for community hatcheries.
I was a fish-health technician for 32 years, so I have personal and professional experience with these programs. I saw the incredible work the volunteers do in conservation and education, from the classroom aquariums to community hatcheries to large federal hatcheries.
I saw the shining eyes of children learning about fish and the importance of conservation. They are the future stewards of this valuable resource, but knowledge needs to be passed on.
Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the education program “wasn’t core to the department’s regulatory mandate.” Regulation and education/conservation are two entirely different things.
He also stated that “the government is committed to doing more salmon enhancement.” How is this supposed to be done by cutting funding? Perhaps he and his advising lackeys need to get out into the field and see reality.
These cuts are to save money. I know that could be done in other ways. For example, in DFO fish health, people all across the country were flown to Ottawa regularly for meetings. What about teleconferencing? The meetings accomplished little except to run up big expense claims. There are so many more ways that money can be saved.
So much for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s empty promises of science-based decisions.