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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File image)
Vehicle collides with propane line causing explosion in Thornhill

Driver sustained severe burns, was taken to Lower Mainland in air ambulance

The plan to build a staircase to the Bench includes a channel to more easily transport bicycles up and down. (Photo courtesy City of Terrace)
Staircase to Bench subject of City grant application

Would connect lower Eby St. to upper Eby St.

The car was trapped, with its driver inside, in a ditch off Hirsch Creek Main near Onion Lake overnight Monday (Oct. 19). Oct. 20, 2020. Kitimat RCMP photo.
Man found after spending overnight stuck in car in a ditch near Onion Lake

Kitimat RCMP said the man was stuck there overnight for about 10 hours

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals. (Black Press Composite Photo)
FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read