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Walker Hook sacrilege: Please express your outrage

Salt Spring News, October 11, 2004

by Jim Scott

In our mind, the desecration of Walker Hook is the most egregious assault on the morality of our island community--and there are many extant today. By several--no, many standards--this development violates the ideals of right human conduct.

Donna Martin writes:

Walker Hook is one of Salt Spring Islands ecological, geological and archaeological treasures. Home to a rich and diverse array of terrestrial and marine plants and animals its worth lies in its stunning natural beauty and habitat value. The tombolo is layered metre deep in middens from coastal first nations peoples who camped, fished and gathered shellfish along its shores for thousands of years. Excavating this area and disturbing and removing the skeletal remains of FN ancestors to accommodate the infrastructure required for the waste management system was cultural vandalism. Walker Hook is designated a high priority protected site by the Federal/Provincial Georgia Basin Ecosystem Conservation Partnership. Environment Canada, the BC Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection and the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management all agree that 3 rare and sensitive ecosystems are present within Walker Hook.

Sablefin Hatcheries Ltd, is a venture capital company headed by Gidon Minkoff that produces large numbers of juvenile sablefish for net cage farms in our coastal communities. This companies stated intention is to expand and diversify to other species and sell out to a large industry player.This development poses ecological threats not only to Walker Hook but to all the coastal communities that will be the recipients to these net cage pen farms. The very concept of industrial use such as this violates everything that the Trust stands for.There has been loud and strong community opposition to this hatchery development from day one. The Salt Spring Residents for Responsible Land Use together with the Penelakut FN elders and the Canadian Sablefish Association filed joint appeals with the Environmental Appeal Board regarding Sablefin Hatcheries Ltd. temporary waste permit which allows them to pump 619 cubic meters of hatchery effluent into the tombolo each day. We are still awaiting this decision.

Salt Spring Island Residents for Responsible Land Use member, Dr. Kathy Dunster, provide links to more information and urges everyone to write saying they are adversely affected by this proposed discharge. Click on full story to read her submission.

Dear Gulf Islanders and friends of the Salish Sea

You may not be aware (unless you live on Salt Spring) that Sablefin Hatcheries has now applied for a permanent Waste Management Permit (Application No. PE17960), to pump 5 times the amount of fish hatchery sewage (2,618 cubic meters) daily into the burial midden and tombolo, which flows into the marine intertidal and eelgrass†bed at Walker Hook on Salt Spring Island. It is critical that this permit not be issued until all environmental, community and heritage concerns have been addressed. Apparently the rules allow this to happen even though the temporary permit is under appeal at the Environmental Appeal Board.

As one of the technical (environmental) experts helping†the†Salt Spring Residents for Responsible Land Use, Penelakut First Nation and Canadian Sablefish Association in appealing the temporary permit at the EAB, I am asking†people from everywhere to write saying they are adversely affected by this proposed discharge. While the main intervenors are trying to have the deadline extended, there is no assurance that will happen so your letter must reach Sablefin Hatcheries Ltd. by next Friday, October 15th. There are three ways to do this

Canada Post to: Gidon Minkoff
Sablefin Hatcheries Ltd.
335 Walker Hook Road
Salt Spring Island BC V8K 1N7

By FAX to 250-537-4822

By email to: ††††††††††† <>gminkoff@telus.net

You MUST also send copies to Randy Alexander, WLAP Regional Waste Manager at 2080A Labieux Road, Nanaimo, B.C. V9T 6J9 Fax 250-751-3103

For background information on what Robert Morales of the Hul‚qumi‚num Treaty Group says about the desecration of this archaeological site go to:


To send more letters to higher level politicians, Islands Trust and bureaucrats about stopping†the atrocities at Walker Hook,†you can do this via Wild Canada‚s take action now website, just go to:


And, most importantly please send this on to everyone you know that can take a minute or two to help.

Many many thanks
Dr. Kathy Dunster
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