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OTTAWA – Liberal MP Wayne Long denounced his own government’s decision to close down B.C. salmon farms calling it shameful, adding his voice to industry and First Nation’s voices speaking out against the announcement.

Late Wednesday, the government announced farms operating today in B.C. rivers and waterways would have five years to move their operations completely onto land or shut them down.

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Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier announced that open-pen salmon farms would only be allowed to open for five more years.

She said the government recognizes the value of the aquaculture industry and sees opportunity for growth, but it has to be done in an environmentally sustainable way.

“It is important that aquaculture production continues to grow in a sustainable manner.”

Long denounced the move arguing it went against the party’s values.

“As a party of science it’s difficult to understand how we haven’t followed our own scientist’s recommendations,” he said in a statement. “As a party of Reconciliation we are imposing an impossible timeline on coastal First Nations communities who choose to have salmon aquaculture to determine a realistic and responsible path for their economic futures.”

Long who was first elected in 2015, has spoken out against the party before taking a different stance on the Energy East Pipeline and proposed tax changes for private corporations in 2017.

He said on this issue the government was making the wrong choice and instead of working with the industry was shutting it down.

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“We have allowed other industries time to show they can innovate, but apparently not this one. This industry was not given that fair chance,” she said. “There are 1000s of jobs at risk directly and through suppliers, and billions of dollars of investment that could be lost as a result of this decision.”

More to come…

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