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Anti-fish farm activist to be sent home after hearing

Feb 10 2012

Anti-fish farm activist Don Staniford is to be deported to Britain days after the conclusion of a 20-day defamation case in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

Staniford is fighting a defamation suit launched by Mainstream Canada, the province's second- largest salmon farming company.

"Canadian Border Services Agency has taken a very heavy-handed approach," said Staniford, a British citizen, who does not dispute that he has been living in Canada illegally since his visa expired in 2010. Staniford suspects that the deportation order, issued on the first day of the Mainstream court case, is connected to his vocal anti-fish farm stance. He has turned over his passport and is due to be escorted out of Canada Feb. 29.

In the meantime, Staniford, who worked largely out of northern Vancouver Island, has planned at least one speaking engagement after the court case ends. He hopes that an injunction, requested by Mainstream lawyers, does not silence him.

A decision on an injunction is likely to be made today by Justice Elaine Adair.

Mainstream is seeking a permanent injunction preventing Staniford from writing, printing or broadcasting criticisms of the company.

Mainstream Canada is a subsidiary of the Norwegian company Cermaq ASA and the lawsuit centres on a graphic campaign comparing salmon farming to smoking.

The Salmon Farming Kills campaign, run through Staniford's Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, showed mock cigarette packages, adorned with the Norwegian flag, with slogans such as "Salmon farming kills like smoking."

Mainstream Canada's lawyer David Wotherspoon is alleging Staniford disseminated and published defamatory statements about the company.

Fish farm operators in B.C., many of which have Norwegian parent companies, say their product is safe and environmentally sound.


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