Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature, Oct. 23, 2017. (Hansard TV)

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature, Oct. 23, 2017. (Hansard TV)

No ‘official complaint’ about Abbotsford lab: DFO

Popham under fire for salmon farm research claims

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham continued to defend her actions around salmon farms Tuesday, repeating that a provincial animal health lab in Abbotsford has had serious allegations raised about its methods.

B.C. Liberal MLA Peter Milobar called on Popham to clarify her statements to a Vancouver newspaper that she was “investigating one of the top scientists in the Ministry of Agriculture.” Dr. Gary Marty specializes in fish health and has previously spoken out against claims by anti-salmon farm activists that net-pen farms are responsible for declining wild salmon stocks.

Popham said the Abbotsford lab’s work is being reviewed after concerns raised by the federal Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

DFO’s Pacific region office issued a statement Tuesday, saying the federal ministry “has not made any official complaint to the Province of B.C. regarding the diagnostic work undertaken by the province’s Animal Health Centre.

“DFO has a memorandum of understanding in place with the Animal Health Centre to conduct diagnostic testing on farmed salmon samples collected through the DFO fish health audit program.” That testing agreement is in place until March 31, 2020.

RELATED: B.C. Minister warned salmon farm not to restock

Under questioning about a letter she sent to Marine Harvest asking it not to stock one of its salmon farms north of Vancouver Island, and then about her comments about the Abbotsford lab, Popham was on the defensive for a third day.

“There is no investigation, formally, and no one is being fired,” Popham said in the legislature Monday. “But we are focused on ensuring that there is integrity in our lab. With the cooperation of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, we’re reviewing the results of the previous samples to make sure there is integrity in our results.”

BC legislatureSalmon farming

Just Posted

Tina Taphouse is pictured in Langley, B.C., Monday, June 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Langley woman says her mother put her up for adoption to avoid Kamloops residential school

Tina Taphouse said she’s sharing her family’s story so those who went to the schools don’t have to

Single Moms Oil Change in 2017. (Aldergrove Star files)
Single Moms Oil Change to be held for first time in more than one year

Free oil change for single parents offered by Acts of Kindness at Church in the Valley on Sunday

Langley Grad Week 2021 runs June 21-25. (Langley School District Facebook)
Langley Grad Week 2021 starts today

Community is invited to celebrate this year’s graduates

The new bike lockers at Langley’s Carvolth park and ride station are solar powered and open and close with a smartphone app. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Solar powered bike lockers in Langley’s Carvolth open with an app

The new TransLink lockers are part of a pilot program

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Most Read