Lorelle Sunduk teaches Roosevelt Elementary students about the life cycle of a salmon at the Oldfield Creek Fish Hatchery. File photo

DFO restores cuts to salmon school program

Federal budget cuts to salmon education reversed after public outcry

Federal cuts to salmon enhancement programs have been reversed.

Budget cuts made in late May would have affected the hands-on curriculum that teaches students to be stewards of wild salmon. In early June, DFO decided to delay its cuts for one year, but after Thursday, June 15, the federal government reversed the cuts indefinitely.

The announcement was made at the standing committee on fisheries and oceans in Ottawa. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) will restore resources to ocean search and rescue services and its educational programs.

The Salmonid Enhancement Program will receive approximately $27 million in federal funding this year.

“There will be no reductions to the Salmonid Enhancement Program: all these programs will continue. This includes the educational and technical contracts that support Stream to Sea and Salmonids in the Classroom, the SEP Resource Restoration Unit, and the hatchery production of Steelhead and Cutthroat trout,” said Vance Chow, spokesperson for DFO.

If DFO had withdrawn resources from the Salmonids in the Classroom, or Sea to Stream program, it would have affected approximately 175 students in Prince Rupert School District who study the life cycle of salmon.

The program gives students the opportunity to learn first hand about salmon releases, habitat restoration and egg fertilization in both English and French languages. A petition circulated two weeks ago, along with several stories by media about how the cuts would affect various rural communities, including Prince Rupert.

“I’m very proud of B.C. for stepping up. It is our culture our heritage. A person who is a volunteer, or First Nations, or a commercial or recreational fishermen all have ties to salmon. I’m very excited the status quo has been returned,” said Mike McDowall, French immersion teacher and board member with the Prince Rupert Salmonid Enhancement Society.

Funding will also be restored to staffing the habitat restoration team at the Oldfield Creek Fish Hatchery.

“These are the folks we rely on, the training and educated folks we can consult on. These folks can provide us with all the scientific information we need so we can continue on with our projects,” McDowall said.

The Salmonids in the Classroom program has been available in B.C. and the Yukon for 30 years. Cullen stated in a press release that public uproar was largely responsible for why DFO decided to reverse its cuts.

“This program is incredibly important in helping to teach children about the value of wild salmon to First Nations culture and to B.C.’s entire economy so that students can help protect our precious resource for future generations.”

For anyone who had concerns about losing the program, McDowall has invited them to come out and volunteer at the hatchery. This Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m. the Oldfield Creek Fish Hatchery is releasing salmon.

“Even if its an hour of your time we could use those extra bodies,” he said.


Just Posted

Prince Rupert officer charged after pedestrian struck at crosswalk

A man suffered a broken leg and head lacerations after being struck by the police vehicle in 2017

Muddy water found in taps at Prince Rupert hospital prompts investigation

Northern Health to hire consultant to examine three facilities for potential contamination

Vandalism not the cause of two power outages in Prince Rupert

BC Hydro reported 2,932 customers briefly out of power on March 22

Tribesmen defeat Haida 77-61 in semi-final matchup at 2018 Junior All Native Basketball Tournament

Prince Rupert Tribesmen advance to finals to face Gitmidiik Storm

Column: A salmon fisheries collapse is a terrifying thought

How a potential sockeye and chinook closure will affect fishers in Northern B.C.

This Week Podcast — Episode 77

Members of Complete Streets for Prince Rupert speak on the show on how to improve pedestrian safety

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Most Read