Burin Peninsula Joint Council supports salmon production project
My name is Everett Farwell and I am chairperson of the Burin Peninsula Joint Council. The joint council is a regional organization whose aims and objectives include to seek solutions to common problems and to stimulate regional growth.
The executive of the joint council consists of regional municipal mayors and councillors and a local service district representative. The executive supports the Grieg NL salmon production cluster in Placentia Bay and the Burin Peninsula area of Newfoundland and is content that Grieg NL has met or surpassed all the requirements under the federal and provincial environmental assessment process.
Mr. Steve Sutton of the Atlantic Salmon Federation is quoted as saying “that a comprehensive environmental assessment including gathering data on local wild stocks could take years.” Delaying the Grieg NL Atlantic salmon project for years to collect such data is wrong and unreasonable and should instead include in studies to help determine why overall salmon stocks/returns in Newfoundland, the Atlantic provinces and elsewhere in North America seem to be declining.
Mr. Bill Taylor, president of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, in his letter to the editor entitled “There is a way forward for Grieg” published in the Aug. 22, 2017, edition of the Southern Gazette said, “there appears to be no recognition that Judge Gillian Butler’s ruling is a sensible, reasonable compromise.” We, the executive, do not agree with Mr. Taylor. The initial provincial environmental review process requested of Grieg NL was not only extensive but also involved participation with multiple provincial and federal departments that meet or exceeded all the reasonable requirement that may be laid out under the environmental impact study. How many times will Grieg NL be asked to prove themselves and just what are they being asked to do? With two years’ worth of environmental assessments completed, what new information is to be gained? This decision is resulting in delays while people on the Burin Peninsula may be on the verge of losing their homes or deciding to move away while we wait.
Decades have come and gone since myself, other individuals and organizations lobbied previous government to encourage and attract salmon and other aquaculture operators/owners to use Placentia Bay. You can just imagine our delight when we heard that the Grieg Group in Norway and OCI, through a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, was establishing the world’s most modern and sustainable salmon production cluster in the Placentia Bay and Burin Peninsula area of Newfoundland. Grieg, with 25 years of experience in salmon farming and plans to build the largest land-based salmon facility capable of producing over seven million smolt yearly — just imagine the opportunities for employment and the business owners as well as regional and provincial economics.