(Karissa Glendale, left, and Molina Dawson outside BC Supreme Court. Photo: Laurie Hamelin/APTN)
APTN News Saturday
A second salmon farm owner in British Columbia has applied for an Injunction against anti-fish farm protestors.
Cermaq Canada’s application came at the end of an already long day of injunction proceedings with Marine Harvest Canada, one of the world’s largest Atlantic Salmon fish farm companies.
Marine Harvest served Molina Dawson and Karissa Glendale who were occupying their Midsummer facility on Nov. 11, among others.
Thursday’s hearing at B.C’s Supreme Court in Vancouver comes after a one-month adjournment, giving defendants time to prepare their response.
If either injunction is approved, police can begin arresting protestors who breach it.
APTN News contacted Cermaq Canada requesting details of its application, but the company did not respond.
We can confirm that Dawson and Glendale were served at the courthouse, but two other protestors mentioned by Cermaq’s lawyer were not yet identified.
“Cermaq can’t find who they’re serving or what their location is so surprisingly they announced that their solution is to find and serve them via Facebook,” said Glendale. “We don’t know exactly who they are, we have had a lot of supporters come stand with us.
“Activists from all over BC have come out to show their support in a variety of ways.”
(Activists and Supporters outside BC Supreme Court. Photo by Rob Smith/APTN Investigates)
Matthew Nefstead, the lawyer for the defendants, said this isn’t new.
“Historically, substituted service was done through an ad in the newspaper.”
Information on Cermaq’s website said that on two different occasions earlier this month, activists boarded their Burdwood salmon farm, harassing employees and stressing fish, by launching a diver and kayaks into a pen.
On Cermaq Canadas website, a notice was posted from David Kiemele, Cermaq Canada’s managing director.
“This group is clearly not interested in constructive discussion or peaceful demonstration,” the statement said. “They deliberately ignore the practices, policies and procedures we have in place to protect our people and our salmon.”
But Dawson, from Musgamagw Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w Nation, said she has every right to be there and is there to protect wild salmon.
“Karissa and I have been boarding Cermaq owned farms peacefully, handing out statements,” she said. “The statements basically say that we’ve been asking this company and this industry to leave for the last 30 years.
“We are trying to make it very clear that we don’t want them here.”
A collective of First Nations in BC’s Broughton Archipelago, including Kwakwaka’wakw territories of the Mama̱liliḵa̱la, ʼNa̱mǥis, Ławitʼsis, Da̱ʼnaxdaʼx̱w, Maʼa̱mtagila, and the four tribes of the Musgamagw Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w, say these fish farms are operating without their consent.
They believe that open-net salmon farms affect wild salmon.
“We have the right as Indigenous people to be monitoring and protecting our land and waters. Peacefully occupying or boarding these farms is necessary in order to protect our culture,” said Dawson.
Marine Harvest Canada, the owner of three fish farms that have been occupied by First Nations at different points since August, said they finally filed an injunction application after failed attempts to talk with protest organizers.
“We have sought this injunction after many months of activist activity and numerous failed attempts to begin dialogue – many who do not reside in the region, said Vincent Ernest, Marine Harvest Canada’s managing director.
“Our staff must be able to work in a safe environment, and free of harassment and intimidation.”
During the hearing, Roy Millen, the lawyer for Marine Harvest, told the court about issues of harassment and intimidation to staff, concerns of safety for everyone, and like Cermaq, activists entering a farm site and sending a scuba diver down into a fish pen.
“They have accused us of a lot of things, and I’m not surprised”, said Glendale. “They are trying to find reasons to make us look much worse than we are.”
Although activists and supporters left the courthouse feeling a bit disheartened, Dawson is adamant First Nations are not giving up.
“We are certainly not quitting because we can’t quit, our livelihoods and our futures, our siblings and nieces futures are in danger here so whether the Injunction is granted or not, we’ll definitely still be making our voices heard, however that looks.”
A verdict is expected in the next several days.