Public avoids the Cohen inquiry

A writer sounds off about the Cohen Inquiry.

To the Editor,

All of you who support the survival of wild salmon know that wild salmon are part of a cycle so beautiful, so mesmerizing, so life giving as to break one’s heart to imagine this world without them.

The threats to wild salmon are many and the government is failing miserably at protecting them.

This Aug. 22–Sept. 8 we have a chance to give something back to the wild salmon.

At 701 West Georgia St., Vancouver, on the eighth floor, the Cohen Commission’s Inquiry Into the Decline of the Fraser River Sockeye Salmon has been ongoing.

In December 2010, it was good news to hear that records from 120 farms spanning 10 years were to be released for examination at the Cohen Commission.

After months of waiting, disease and aquaculture is finally up for examination in court.

Doctor Kristi Miller will no longer be muzzled (be there Aug. 24 to hear her testimony), nor the secrets between DFO and the aquaculture industry be secret any longer.

There are 130 seats in that courtroom.

The commission will spend nine days examining aquaculture, three days examining disease—from Aug. 22–26, Aug. 29–31 and Sept. 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8.

The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a 90-minute lunch break.

Having sat in that courtroom for hours on end over the past nine months, I can tell you it is a sad sight, seeing the future of wild salmon being discussed in a room empty of people who want to protect them.

This is a public inquiry, costing taxpayers $25 million, yet the public has been largely kept in the dark and certainly has not been present.

Yes, it is a tiresome process to sit in such a stale room, and yes, it is sickening hearing how fragmented and ineffective DFO is.

But what of the wild salmon and all that they endure for us?

Elena Edwards,

Mission, B.C

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