Premier John Horgan issues statement after visiting Indigenous opponents of fish farming

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      Premier John Horgan issued the following statement this afternoon:

      "I was pleased to accept an invitation from Chief Bob Chamberlin from the Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis Nation to visit the community of 'Namgis and meet with people there.

      "I appreciated the opportunity to hear the views of the Hereditary Chiefs and Elders from the surrounding territories, particularly on the difficult issues of salmon aquaculture, highlighted recently by the occupation of two farms in the region.

      "I was joined by Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser, and Minister of Transportation and MLA for the North Island Claire Trevena.

      "Minister Popham will share the concerns we heard from the people we met with today with the federal Minister for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and press the federal government to work with us, Indigenous communities and industry to map out a sustainable future.

      "Any strategy for aquaculture must put a priority on the protection of wild salmon, collaborate with First Nations and acknowledge their interests, involve the federal government and recognize that the industry now generates nearly $800 million in annual value, while supporting several thousand jobs in rural and coastal areas."