Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gail Shea, Salmon Farms and What's My Position Again?

In many ways if you want to try to figure out Stephen Harper and why he does things; you only have to look at Mike Harris, the former premier of Ontario.

Harris had a rather radical style of governing that had not been seen in Ontario before, so the press and the pundits were often left scratching their heads.

But as author and political scientist Brooke Jeffrey claims; 'His theory was unique, but understandable if one considers his neoconservative perspective.' (Hard Right Turn, Harper-Collins, 1999)

This is the mistake that most of the media is making when covering Stephen Harper. He doesn't answer questions, so they try to answer them for him, but sadly they usually get it completely wrong.

A neoconservative has no interest in governing responsibly, balancing budgets or dealing with people. They have one goal and one goal only. To dismantle the government and pave the way for top-down commercialism.

So when you look at cabinet positions, and wonder why someone with little or no experience, education or interest in their portfolio, would be chosen to head it up; you have to look at it through the neocon's eye.

If you choose a cabinet minister who has worked in the industry and has knowledge of how it operates, that minister might start developing some empathy for what they dub 'special interest' groups.

For instance an agriculture minister might start to speak up on behalf of farmers, or a health minister might want to protect public health care. But that is not their job. They are not supposed to care about who is effected by government decisions, but only that the decisions of the leader and his inner circle get carried out.

In this way Gail Shea was a perfect choice to head up the Fisheries and Oceans. I don't know what her education is, since nothing is listed in her profile, but she definitely had no experience with this file. She was a rookie MP, something else neocons like, since they believe they will be ever so grateful, they'll never oppose the person who put so much faith in them.

So when that leader and his inner circle, made up of mostly unelected lawyers, corporate insiders and communications experts, turned their backs on the B.C. Salmon Fisheries, in favour of Norwegian multinational salmon farms, what did Gail Shea do?

Se went to a trade show in Norway run by the multinationals she should be protecting Canadians from.

And what did Gail Shea say when she was told that:
Of the eight to ten million wild sockeye salmon predicted by Oceans and Fisheries Canada to return to the Fraser River this year, only about 7% are returning, leading to the closure of all sockeye fishing on the river for the third year in a row.
“Maybe the salmon will return a year later,” What?

To suggest salmon might be a year late returning shows a lack of knowledge, said Donaldson. “That’s absolutely asinine,” he said. “It flies in the face of how the migration cycle works with sockeye.” The fish have always returned on a four-year-cycle and are not likely to suddenly change, he said. “Evolution just doesn’t quite work that way.”

You would think that if the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans didn't know that, they would at least try to learn something about it before making such a ridiculous comment.

But then, that's not her job.



  1. Alexandra Morton would be my Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. It long past time to let the experts participate in the lawmaking.

  2. It's a shame that this government won't listen to experts. When I first read this story I was shocked. Alexandra should be our fisheries minister.