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Venue change no deterrent for anti-fish farm protesters

Mar 09 2012
Biologist and anti-fish farm demonstrator Alexandra Morton talks to Dag Terje Andersen, president of the parliament of Norway, outside the Sequoia Springs Golf Club in Campbell River where the Norwegian delegation met with aboriginal groups and Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan. 

Biologist and anti-fish farm demonstrator Alexandra Morton talks to Dag Terje Andersen, president of the parliament of Norway, outside the Sequoia Springs Golf Club in Campbell River where the Norwegian delegation met with aboriginal groups and Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan.

Photograph by: Supplied photo , timescolonist.com

The location of a meeting between Norwegian politicians, aboriginal leaders and Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan was switched at the last minute Thursday morning.

But the change did not deter protesters, who waited outside the Sequoia Springs Golf Club in Campbell River after the Quadra Island location was cancelled.

"The Norwegian delegates got out of the bus and they engaged us and wanted to know what it was all about," said Alexandra Morton, a biologist and vocal opponent of open-net pen salmon farming in areas where there are wild salmon runs.

"They were not at all rude."

The Norwegian delegation was to hear from members of the Ahousaht and Kitasoo First Nations, which are supportive of salmon farming, and other First Nations worried that the views of those opposed to fish farming in traditional territories would not be heard.

However, Chief Bob Chamberlin of Kwicksutaineuk Ah-Kwa-mish First Nation, who turned up uninvited in full regalia and asked to attend the meeting, was allowed in.

"I think this will have changed the tone of the meeting," said Morton, speaking before the sessions wrapped up.

Morton is concerned that the reason for the change of venue might have been the demonstration planned for Quadra Island. "But there has never been a violent demonstration in relation to wild salmon," she said.

jlavoie@timescolonist.com

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