Russ George, one of the champions of the controversial ocean fertilization experiment conducted in the waters off Haida Gwaii last summer, has been dismissed from his role as the CEO and chief scientist for the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (HSRC).
The HSRC made the announcement on May 23, also removing Russ as a board member of the group, and Old Massett Chief Councillor Ken Rae said it was simply time for a change.
“The board felt we needed to change the tone and a new strategic direction was needed, and that begins with the management and board… The board is going to step back and perform a strategic review with the goal of making more effective use of the business opportunities that exist,” he said, noting part of that will be effectively responding to “legitimate concerns raise by various stakeholders around the world”.
“We are re-calibrating the whole business… We are committed to improving our communication and consultation process.”
With George no longer involved, corporation president and Old Massett economic development officer John Disney has been appointed interim CEO. Russ said any plans the HSRC had for the coming months have been put on hold while the restructuring and review is done.
“The Haida people have over 10,000 years experience with the land and waters around Haida Gwaii, any preservation or enhancement work is predicated on those values. It is the heart of who we are,” he said.
For his part, Disney said the review will help ensuring more involvement in future projects.
“While we are confident in the technology, process and buy-in are key. That’s why our emphasis is putting the right leadership and business plan in place. We have a responsibility not only to the shareholders but to the citizens of Old Massett and Haida Gwaii to get it right,” he said.