When the Cohen Commission was holding hearings in Vancouver, I attended. It was not a happy or satisfying experience. The most unsettling single observation was of government scientist — a person known for opinions that challenge Ottawa’s papal view — being closely escorted by security personnel.
They made certain there was no engagement with non-approved audience members. That highly educated and very well respected person was held on a tight leash because the entire event was not about science or fact-finding. It was about reinforcing positions that served objectives of bureaucrats who’ve never soiled their shoes with sea water.
A forum aimed at extracting truth from controversy should not have been a place where witnesses were intimidated by squadrons of lawyers and security personnel and legions of industry executives and flacks. Now, the Harper Government is moving to silence other scientists that hold inconvenient views.
Today, this arrived in my mail box. It’s worth republishing.
An important note from Alexandra Morton:
Last December, my lawyer Greg McDade made a prediction that was recorded in the Cohen Commission testimony – that within 12 months the federal government would attempt to strip the lab I am using to test for ISA virus of its international status.
He was right. They are trying.
In response I went back to the wealth of information Justice Cohen and his Counsel Brock Martland gave us on ISA virus in BC and laid out what is known to the Director General of the Organization of International Epizootics (OIE).
7 labs have detected ISA virus in BC, 4 of them are federal government labs, whose results have been hidden, muzzled or misrepresented in government communications
Only 1 lab says 100% of his tests have been negative – Dr. Gary Marty, Provincial farm fish audit lab. His lab is now an outlier.
1 lab is non-government and thus harder to muzzle – that is the one the CFIA has gone after.
Last spring government drafted Bill 37 that would have made this research punishable by 2 years in jail.
The CFIA is clearly under pressure too.
The workers in the fish farm industry must feel uncertain about their future as does everyone depending on the wild fish economy. This virus is well known to damage their industry, which is already on its knees running out of food and customers.
I am asking the Director General of the OIE to cast an international eye on what is happening in BC, in hopes that we will be able to finish this work without escalating harassment.
Here is my letter to Dr. Bernard Vallat, DG of the OIE http://alexandramorton.typepad.com
I could really use your help. Everyone needs to speak up, there is a petition on the site above. Share widely so people know they can help.
If you want to know the extent of what is going on please read my blog. This is sheer nonsense, in a high-stakes game that everyone looses; the shareholders, trade partners, fish farm workers, the wild salmon economy, politicians the wild salmon of the North Pacific and everyone that comes after us.