Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature, Oct. 23, 2017. (Hansard TV)

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature, Oct. 23, 2017. (Hansard TV)

No ‘official complaint’ about Abbotsford lab: DFO

Popham under fire for salmon farm research claims

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham continued to defend her actions around salmon farms Tuesday, repeating that a provincial animal health lab in Abbotsford has had serious allegations raised about its methods.

B.C. Liberal MLA Peter Milobar called on Popham to clarify her statements to a Vancouver newspaper that she was “investigating one of the top scientists in the Ministry of Agriculture.” Dr. Gary Marty specializes in fish health and has previously spoken out against claims by anti-salmon farm activists that net-pen farms are responsible for declining wild salmon stocks.

Popham said the Abbotsford lab’s work is being reviewed after concerns raised by the federal Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

DFO’s Pacific region office issued a statement Tuesday, saying the federal ministry “has not made any official complaint to the Province of B.C. regarding the diagnostic work undertaken by the province’s Animal Health Centre.

“DFO has a memorandum of understanding in place with the Animal Health Centre to conduct diagnostic testing on farmed salmon samples collected through the DFO fish health audit program.” That testing agreement is in place until March 31, 2020.

RELATED: B.C. Minister warned salmon farm not to restock

Under questioning about a letter she sent to Marine Harvest asking it not to stock one of its salmon farms north of Vancouver Island, and then about her comments about the Abbotsford lab, Popham was on the defensive for a third day.

“There is no investigation, formally, and no one is being fired,” Popham said in the legislature Monday. “But we are focused on ensuring that there is integrity in our lab. With the cooperation of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, we’re reviewing the results of the previous samples to make sure there is integrity in our results.”

BC legislatureSalmon farming

Just Posted

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre has embarked on a fundraising campaign, seeking to raise $1 million for establishment of an independent urban Indigenous school. Pictured here, Tsawalk Learning Centre students at an Orange Shirt Day event in September. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre looks to raise $1 million for urban Indigenous school

Centre says independent school would be first of its kind in B.C.

Most Read