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B.C. on right track with fishery council, says CRD director

Mike Hicks named to advisory group

Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks was named to a provincial advisory council by Premier John Horgan on Friday to study the state of wild salmon on the B.C. coast.

Calling it a lifetime pursuit, Hicks welcomed the appointment.

Hicks has spent most of his adult life involved in the sport fishing industry, and twice ran for MP in hopes of becoming federal fisheries minister.

“British Columbia is finally – thanks to the leadership of John Horgan – following the footsteps of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California where at some point in their history they said, ‘We cannot rely 100 per cent on the federal government to run our fisheries,’” Hicks said.

“This the first step for the provincial government to get involved in our salmon fishery. It’s a huge step forward.”

RELATED: Salmon farms are Ottawa’s responsibility, John Horgan says

Horgan said the government will develop its wild salmon strategy over the summer as recommendations from the advisory group come in. A final report is due this fall.

The council is co-chaired by Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk Nation at Bella Bella on the B.C. Central Coast, and Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley.

Members of the advisory committee also include Green Party MLA Adam Olsen, United Fisheries and Allied Workers’ Union president Joy Thorkelson, First Nations Summit co-chair Ray Harris, Okanagan Nation Alliance fisheries biologist Dawn Machin, Heiltsuk commercial fisherman James Lawson and Ward Bond, co-owner of Island Outfitters and a member of the Canada-U.S. Pacific Salmon Foundation board.

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