Written by Rafe Mair
See those two dots – one says corporate decency (underneath it says “good corporate citizen”).
The other dot says democracy, the rule of law and responsive government.
These two dots are joined to make up the dot that says “what a pile of bullshit!"
We have to get used to the truth: no company gives a rat’s ass about corporate decency – in fact it’s naïve for us think there might be. The corporation owes allegiance to just one thing: the bottom line – profits and dividends. In fact, corporations are only as decent as the law and enforcement of the law makes them be. They are like most motorists – they obe the laws because if they don’t and are caught, there are consequences.
The BC Liberal government has no intention of making laws that govern the way their donors do business and even if they do we all remember how the fish farms got fined for breaking environmental laws and how the Campbell government gave them their money back.
The Federal government is even worse than Victoria because they don’t have to care. Remember a year or two ago the feds gave $75,000 to Plutonic Power, the rapacious private power company that’s General Electric in drag! A little gesture of goodwill to Warren Buffett and the boys, you know.
Since John Cummins left the Tories they haven’t a single MP that knows anything about fish farms except John Duncan, who ran on the basis of supporting them and was rewarded with a parliamentary secretaryship. It’s more than that of course – the federal Fisheries Act set up the DFO as the “policeman” and at the same time mandates that it support, even promote fish farms! They will do dick-all (sorry to all you decent dicks out there!)
This brings me to the unhappy conclusion that nothing will happen to fish farms even though they have been caught re-handed importing ova with Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISAv).
Why would the companies do anything? What the hell do they care about Pacific Salmon, even though their wind-up doll, Mary Ellen Walling, on command, will spout their mantras of undying love for the soul of this province.
For Marine Harvest and their colleagues, it’s business as usual – lie, obfuscate and play the old game which puts the onus on us, the citizens that care. The Precautionary Principle, though supported by the UN and Canada, in theory, will just be ignored. That’s part of their modus operandi and they will stick with a tactic that’s working.
Don’t for a single moment think that the BC Salmon Farmers Association will lift a finger – hell, they will continue lying since that’s all they know.
The provincial government, which hasn’t come within 10,000 km of telling the truth throughout this whole sorry business has seen its jurisdiction to enforce go to the DFO, although they still control the ocean tenures for the farms.
I hope you don’t laugh at me for even mentioning any role for the federal government. They have been rotten managers of our fish since Confederation and have no desire to change – and won’t.
The only tack we can take now is public information and public action such as boycotting. This has proved effective but we must turn it up several notches – and our case has been much strengthened.
There is, of course, the law. We can consider class actions, although I’m simply not sure of my ground here – I believe that citizens must show a common interest in the Pacific salmon and find someone who’ll take the case on a contingent basis, which is to say he’ll take a percentage if he wins but nothing if he loses.
There is a very big plus arising out of the finding of this disease: we know that the two governments and the companies have the morality of an alley cat – oops, I’ll be getting a libel suit from the cat fraternity if I’m not careful!
PS What should happen?
The same thing that happened with mad cow disease – destroy the fish pronto and cancel all licenses. I say that and I haven’t even had my first drink of the day.