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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Fraser River groups, individuals granted standing  (อ่าน 3796 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: เมษายน 20, 2010, 08:56:22 AM »


Some 20 stakeholders have been granted standing to partake in the Cohen Commission's formal public hearings. (Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Fraser River groups, individuals granted standing

CANADA
Monday, April 19, 2010, 17:50 (GMT + 9)

The Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River announced on Thursday that standing has been granted to 20 persons or groups to partake in its formal public hearings.

People or groups with standing can suggest witnesses, make oral submissions at the Commission's hearings and cross-examine witnesses. Some 52 groups possess unique or shared standing.

The governments of Canada and British Columbia (BC), the Pacific Salmon Commission, the BC Salmon Farmers Society (BCSFA), the Seafood Producers Association of BC and Rio Tinto Alcan each have individual standing.

Aboriginal tribal groups and fishing societies along the Fraser, environmentalists and sport and commercial fishers and others have also been granted shared standings under titles like First Nations Coalition and Conservation Coalition. They will have to share funding resources available via the Commission, reports Vancouver Sun.

A full list of participants and joint participants, plus the Commissioner's full ruling on standing applications, are available online at the Commission’s website.

"While the Commission received 50 applications for standing -- a number we believe is higher than any other federal commission of inquiry -- Commissioner [Bruce] Cohen determined that several applicants with similar concerns should share in single grants of standing, bringing us down to 20," said Senior Commission Counsel Brian Wallace.

"Those who did not receive standing can still be involved in the Commission's process by attending public hearings and making written submissions, which will be posted on our website," he added.

The Cohen Commission was set up on 5 November 2009 with Bruce Cohen as Commissioner.

Under the Commission’s Terms of Reference, it will hold hearings to examine and inform on the falling stocks of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River. Based on its findings, the Commission recommend how to improve the population’s sustainability in the river, including changes to the policies, practices and procedures of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) per the management of the Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery as required.

Cohen gave individual standing to salmon farmers, he said, because they may face "adverse comment" from "researchers, environmentalists and fishers [who] have pointed to the aquaculture industry as a major cause for the decline."

Commercial fisher David Ellis of the Fish for Life Foundation condemned the Commission's selection methodology.

"The process that was started with a short, poorly advertised deadline, and with a flawed premise based on a 'direct interest' in the Fraser River, a common property fishery, leaves in serious question the structural integrity of the Commission, and its ability to spend taxpayers money wisely," Ellis contended.

"Cohen set a short deadline, then let in only the most powerful and legal-savvy, scaring away most of those who could really solve the many problems that must be solved, if the river is to get through the present time of great crisis," he opined.

Related articles:

- Missing salmon stocks to be probed: PM
- Millions of salmon missing from Canada 'summer run'

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com

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