The Fine Folks Who Brought You Burnt Church

FTLComm - Winnipeg - Thursday, July 5, 2001


It was formally announced yesterday that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will now have a presence in Prairie Canada. With their main office in Winnipeg and offices in Regina and Calgary the DFO will have twenty-six field people both enforcement officers and biologist working in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.



no authority

Should we be concerned? After all it is the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans who were able to supervise and manage the near extinction of the Atlantic Cod, completely destroying that fishery, they also oversaw the near total extinction of the Atlantic Salmon, it is under their keen and watchful eye that the British Columbia Salmon stock is now reaching critical numbers and of course the DFO's starring role in ramming native fishing boats off of the Burnt Church reserve showed everyone that this federal government department is responsible to no authority including the Supreme Court of Canada which has ruled over and over that the Marshall case determines the right for natives to fish commercially.



Federal Cabinet

In 1999 the Federal Cabinet decreed that the DFO establish a presence in inland Canada which really makes a person wonder just how did we manage things here for the past one-hundred thirty-four years. With all native fresh water fish still in place, flourishing in some areas and doing a fine job of maintaining themselves, it seems odd that this federal government department which has destroyed every single species it has been involved with, is not coming here. Clearly we are about to see Pickerel, Lake Trout and Percy go the way of the Atlantic Cod or West Coast Salmon if these people are involved.




You might consider this criticism harsh but the Federal Department of Oceans and Fisheries is not only responsible for the loss of coastal fishing but continues to expand plunder rather than foster conservation. Most recently the DFO has permitted "dragger" fishing in George's Banks a system of total destruction of fish habitat and is doing so despite the warnings by conservation groups and international ocean studies which point to dragging as the most totally obliterating form of ocean harvesting ever devised.




When we coinsider the abysmal record of this agency it is hard to image how they could have done a worse job. In almost every instance the DFO acts completely opposite to conservation and in direct opposition to the people of the country. They have tended to be the servants of international companies and seem to have the single minded mission to screw things up.




The reason for their continued failures is that this department of government is exactly that, a department of the federal government and though it seems amazing to think how destroying the cod fishery was in the best interest of the federal government, how else can their actions be understood. As for the DFO's action in the maritimes with regard to First Nations people one can see the simple fact that the Indian's vote is not significant and maritime fishers are.



bad guys

We must be very concerned about their presence here in this part of the country, the DFO's function has been and will continue to be an arm of the political expediency of the government in power, it is a political agency designed to carry out policies for political reasons. Twenty-six bad guys have been unleashed on us and God help the fish of this part of the world.
  You can check out the DFO's website.

Timothy W. Shire