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Cohen Report

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Sockeye Salmon



Justice Bruce Cohen just released his Final Report on his 3-year, $26 million commission into the 17-year decline of the Fraser Sockeye.

I want to share Cohen's incredibly strong wording within the confines of his mandate, which was specific to the Fraser sockeye. Clearly, however, Fraser sockeye are not different from other salmon in their vulernability to the array of farm salmon pathogens.

I will write more detail in my blog soon, but I wanted you to know the good news as soon as possible. The Cohen report <>  includes:
Salmon farms have the potential to import exotic viruses and amplify endemic ones
There should be an immediate freeze on farm salmon production on the Fraser sockeye migration route
DFO should be relieved of their duty to promote salmon farms
Mitigation into the impact of salmon farms on wild salmon should not be delayed and should be carried out in the absence of absolute certainty
DFO must assess ALL research done on the impact of farm salmon on wild salmon and if found greater than minimal, the industry must be prohibited from operating on the Fraser sockeye migration route!
Siting criteria has to be revised to include wild salmon migration routes.
As this report is tabled, you should know the Province of BC is in the process of renewing many salmon farm leases. The Province of BC remains the landlord of the industry even though regulation has become federal.  If BC offers this industry long term leases, Justice Cohen's recommendations and our $26 million will be wasted.  The Province cannot at this point offer these lease renewals without consulting with the Fraser First Nations, because the salmon they have rights to are swimming through effluent from the salmon farms, Cohen is specifically reporting on.

I am actively researching exotic salmon viruses, but if these leases are renewed in the next few weeks, there will be little chance of the Cohen recommendations being acted on.

This report is the result of a massive amount of work, I especially thank my lawyers Lisa Glowacki and Greg McDade - they went the extra mile and beyond!

There is something you can do now.  I have created a petition in honour of Cohen's work asking Permier Clark not to renew the salmon farm leases to the sea floor of BC.

If you step up and share it widely, there is a chance our children will have wild salmon in their lives, and honestly it looks like there are tough times ahead, they will need everything we can leave them.

In celebration of hope and thanks to you Mr Cohen for seeing the difficult truths,

Alexandra Morton

Public Support 3 to 1 for ALR Inclusion of the Southlands

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The Majority of Citizens Want the southlands in the ALRA report from Delta Staff on the correspondence received up to March 7, 2011 shows clear majority support for an application to return the Southlands to the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). For Delta residents, 985 have indicated support for the ALR application while only 501 have indicated opposition. For those outside of Delta, 441 have indicated support for the ALR application while only 22 have indicated opposition.

Oil Spill a Wake Up Call

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Who's To Blame For Gulf Oil Spill?

The Gulf oil spill is a wake up call for all of us.

The public is quick to point blame at British Petroleum. BP is partly to blame but so are we. It is our demand for oil that drives oil tankers into harbour cities. BP is responding to our thirst for oil.

Banned Video on Southlands Battle Now Online

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Saving the Southlands

A new 13 min documentary - produced by filmmaker Damien Gillis in partnership with a number of Tsawwassen groups and citizens - is now available online. "Saving the Southlands" tells the story of the 30-year battle to protect a 500-acre parcel of prime farmland in Tsawwassen from housing development - set against the backdrop of an emerging food security crisis in BC.

Leadership Survey on Pesticide Ban Lacking Leaders

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Pesticide BandOnly one Liberal leadership candidate, Mike de Jong, has responded to a one question online poll put out by the Surrey White Rock Pesticide-Free Coalition:

“Would you support the enactment of provincial legislation banning the sale, use and application of cosmetic pesticides on private lawns and gardens, as well as public parks and recreational facilities?”

Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong, Dawn Black of the NDP and Jane Sterk of the Green Party were the only ones answering the one question poll:  all three answered “yes.”  All other Liberal leadership candidates and the Reform Party leader did not respond to the online question.

Cosmetic pesticides are pesticides (e.g., synthetic weedkiller) used for the purposes of enhancing the appearance of lawns, gardens, public parks and recreational facilities.  Scientific studies show that chemical pesticides are increasingly linked to serious illness, especially leukemia, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities, and fertility and neurological problems.

Across Canada, over 170 municipalities, the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, PEI, and soon Nova Scotia have enacted legislation to ban the sale, use and application of cosmetic pesticides.

“The BC government has remained silent, even with the Union of BC Municipalities 2008 motion asking the provincial government to pass provincial legislation banning the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides,” said Andrew Schulz, Coalition member. “The BC government has failed to protect the health of citizens, particularly the young and elderly, who are most at risk.”

On April 15, 2010, the Ministry posted a summary of over 8000 submitted comments:  “More than 8,000 comments, signatures on  petitions, or submissions were received between December 2009 and the end of February 2010 in response to the ministry’s request for comments on the cosmetic use of pesticides in BC.”

“The BC government has taken no action on a pesticide ban… although an overwhelming 88% of consultation respondents support a ban,” said Doreen Dewell, environmental science instructor.  “Also, a survey completed for the Canadian Cancer Society found that 75% of British Columbians believe that pesticides have a negative impact on their health, and similar numbers are concerned about the environmental impacts of pesticides (Canadian Cancer Society Public Opinion Research Survey, 2008).”

“I’ve had too many friends diagnosed with cancer and leukemia,” said Mel Tomiyama, co-chair of the Coalition’s research and education team.  “We need the BC government to act now to prevent frivolous toxins from entering our water, air and soil.  Our children deserve the same protection as other provinces.  Statistics show that landscaping and other businesses thrive under such a ban.  We ask British Columbians to write a letter to their local MLA, urging them to support provincial legislation banning the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides.  For more information, please refer to the website

Logging Started on Witness Trail

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Logging the SFPRGroup Hike on the South Fraser Witness Trail!

The South Fraser Witness Trail follows the route of the proposed South Fraser Perimeter 'Road' freeway through an urban forest in Surrey. Named as one of the city's five major natural area hubs in a recent study, it is home to deer, beavers, herons, owls, salmon, and endangered species such as the Red legged frog and Pacific water shrew.

Burns Bog Society Launches Lawsuit Against Feds

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LAWSUIT LAUNCHED OVER SFPR CONSTRUCTIONThe Burns Bog Conservation Society announced today that it has delivered a statement of claim to Federal court office. The Society claims that the Federal Government has violated the conservation covenant to protect Burns Bog. “The construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road will have a significant impact to the health and well being of residents, plants and animals alike,” said Eliza Olson, President, Burns Bog Conservation Society. “Our Governments have failed to conduct a thorough and credible analysis of the environmental impact of paving a highway through Burns Bog, over valuable farmland, and along the Fraser River.” The freeway will cause irreparable harm to critical habitats of the Fraser delta including the bog, farmland, and the forests and wetlands located in Surrey and North Delta. As such, Burns Bog Conservation Society, with a grant from West Coast Environmental Law, has hired Vancouver lawyer Jay Straith to advocate on their behalf. “The governments have failed to honour their commitment to protect Burns Bog under a Conservation Covenant and Management Plan signed by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, and the Corporation of Delta,” said lawyer Jay Straith. “They must be held accountable for their actions and negligence.” Further, the Federal Government has violated public trust, and ignored their fiduciary duty to protect the environment, by carrying out the development of the South Fraser Perimeter Road. The development contravenes the laws outlined in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Federal Species at Risk Act in the following ways:


  • Fails to ensure that the Federal Environmental Assessment of the South Fraser Perimeter Road was considered in a careful and precautionary manner, to avoid adverse environmental effects
  • Fails to disclose the use of Federal lands for the purpose of enabling the project to be carried out
  • Fails to protect endangered species such as the Pacific Water Shrew
  • Fails to meet the legal requirement of assessing the overall cumulative effects of the South Fraser
  • Perimeter Road, in combination with related Gateway Projects such as the Delta Port expansion and Golden Ears Bridge.

Eliza Olson, president of the Burns Bog Conservation Society, is one of ten finalists in CBC's Champions of Change contest. If she wins, Burns Bog will get $25,000 which would help pay for the lawsuit. If you haven't already, please go to CBC's Champions of Change and vote for Eliza. You can vote up to ten times, and can cast all of your votes today.

Global Environmental Issues Can Distract Us From Local Problems

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Red Backed VoleI'd like to share my current thoughts on the use of the terms “climate change” and “global warming”. My comments are triggered after watching coverage of the excellent demonstration “Dig in for Climate Change” and while it appears to have been a great success, from my point of view, the use of the term, “climate change” distracted from the real issues of the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

I'm concerned about the use of the terms “climate change” and “global warming” as it is my opinion that they are too broad in scope and are not good labels to consistently use. It is simple to call me a “climate change denier” and ignore this, however I request that you give me an opportunity to share my thoughts.

I think debating the truth about “climate change” and “global warming” is a way of distracting people from looking at specific issues. People are being “sucked into” using these terms. It prevents people from examining the direct impact of actions and developments that are destroying the environment. To me, the worldwide loss of habitat is devastating. The loss of species, farmland, and natural environments along with the pollution of soil, air and water are critical issues. In some cases, the causes are change in climatic conditions and these should be specifically cited as caused by warming or cooling conditions.

I suspect our governments, and “destroyers of the environment” like nothing better than to use “green rhetoric” to avoid the truth about what they are wilfully doing for power and money. They love to use the terms, “climate change”, “global warming”, “greenhouse gases”, “sustainability”, “alternate energy”, “green buildings”, “ecodensity”, “growth” and “balance”. It is my opinion that these terms have become green rubbish.

It is important to avoid the rhetoric and point out the specific impacts of actions and developments that are destroying the environment.

In the case of the South Fraser Perimeter Road, the Project will destroy some of Canada’s best farmland, habitat for species at risk, Burns Bog hydrology, transitional habitat, a highly-significant archaeological site and the quality of life. It will result in air pollution and over 50 kilometers of environmental degradation.

Prince Charles who in a recent interview declared his aim is to be a “defender of nature…, makes a more accurate statement as to what our goals should be.

The debate about “climate change” is ongoing. I am alarmed about the information that is coming out. It is so easy to use the terms as if they are the “cause” of all evil. I haven’t read anything that would help me use these terms with comfort and have a sense that I know what I am talking about. Using these labels is a lazy way of avoiding doing proper homework on the issues facing us and sidetracks the debate about the real issues of willful environmental destruction.

I'd like you to consider the following article. It is articles like this that make me uncomfortable using terms that I know so little about. One can go on the internet and find excellent arguments on both sides of the debate. How many of us really know and understand the science? What we do know is that we need to continually speak up against deliberate environmental degradation.

-------- Begin Article

US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life'

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here is his letter of resignation to Curtis G. Callan Jr, Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society.

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.


Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, Chairman of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)