Finally, five months after sending a registered letter direct to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau detailing my repeated unsuccessful attempts to have staff of his Department of Fisheries and Oceans respond to long outstanding correspondence concerning steelhead catches in commercial and First Nations fisheries in the Somass River and its ocean approaches, I find a letter in my mailbox. Its too good not to share. Remember, this business of the stonewalling by DFO at every level has been carefully documented in previous posts on this site (e.g. “The System is Rigged”, Dec 5/16; “Requiem for the Stamp”, Feb 26/17)
Well B. Funes, all I can say is nice try. Its hard for me to imagine how anyone charged with the responsibility to respond to the material I have forwarded to various officials within DFO, from local “managers” in Port Alberni through Minister Dominic LeBlanc and his Parliamentary Secretary, Terry Beech, could come back with such a feeble brush off. Not even a cc to Minister LeBlanc or any of his charges?! You didn’t notice the reason I wrote to the Prime Minister originally was because of the clearly illustrated lack of acknowledgement or response to two previous messages sent to Minister LeBlanc?! Unforgivable. Perhaps B. Funes and everyone else in this food chain will enjoy reading more about these issues in the media. Stay tuned.
The next round? As we approach another sockeye season in and near the approaches to the Stamp/Somass system I refuse to see this issue buried for lack of attention by those responsible. Yes, I understand the forecast for the sockeye return is far less than would support a commercial fishery but I find nothing to suggest the First Nations fisheries (of which there are potentially several) won’t happen again. Ottawa, Vancouver and Port Alberni offices of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans need to be held accountable. In that context, here is my follow-up letter to the Prime Minister’s Executive Correspondence Officer.
May 3, 2017
Executive Correspondence Officer
Office of the Prime Minister
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A2
Dear B. Funes:
Thank you for your letter dated April 19, 2017 in response to my own sent by registered mail to Prime Minister Trudeau on December 3, 2016. Forgive me for suggesting your apology for the delayed response is a bit lame, especially considering you didn’t bother to address any of the specifics I brought forward.
The reason I wrote Prime Minister Trudeau ought to have been crystal clear. To reiterate, numerous previous attempts to solicit responses from DFO officials over the preceding several months failed to generate even an acknowledgement, let alone answers to my questions and concerns. Two messages, complete with several supporting pieces of correspondence, sent to Minister Dominic LeBlanc in September of 2016, were included in the material to which you responded on behalf of the PM. The silence from Minister LeBlanc and any of his underlings (including his Parliamentary Secretary) has been deafening.
It is a sad commentary on the entire Department of Fisheries and Oceans and beyond that legitimate and well documented concerns brought to the attention of every level in the hierarchy go unaddressed for months only to be brushed aside with “While the Prime Minister appreciates being made aware of your interest, he will leave the matter to be considered by Minister LeBlanc”? At the very least, couldn’t you have copied Minister LeBlanc on your letter?
Be assured B. Funes, you will be hearing more on these issues in days ahead.