Trudeau sacks Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray

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Joyce Murray, Canada’s controversial Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, has lost her job in a major reshuffle by prime minister Justin Trudeau.

She is replaced by mother of three Diane Lebouthillier, who has been an MP with the governing Liberal Party since 2015.

It is too early to tell if she will follow Joyce Murray’s policy of ending open pen farming in British Columbia. Murray had been at odds with much of Canada’s aquaculture industry. Her appointment has been welcomed by the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

Trudeau axed seven senior ministers and several more junior ministers in a dramatic attempt to regain flagging popularity.

The BC Salmon Farmers Association said it looked forward to discussing the importance of the salmon farming sector with the new minister. “We understand Minister Lebouthillier is from a fishing community,” says Brian Kingzett, the association’s executive director.

“We appreciate the appointment of a Minister that understands the opportunities and challenges of resource-based communities, especially in relation to the federal salmon farming Transition Plan.”

Diane Lebouthillier

He added: “We are ready to meet with Minister Lebouthillier, along with our members and the First Nations whose territories we operate in, to learn more about the sector and the role of salmon farming in supporting poverty reduction, economic growth and sustainable food production in BC.”

Farm-raised salmon is BC’s largest aquaculture export and, before 2020, created over CA  $1.6 billion in economic activity annually the province.

The salmon farming sector says it supports the federal government’s visions and goals by providing thousands of jobs and rural economic opportunities which support healthy and thriving communities, families and poverty reduction.

They are also committed to meeting the challenge of continued innovation through ongoing transition of the sector to achieve higher standards of environmental responsibility while further reducing potential impacts on wild salmon populations. Members also wanted to continue investing and creating jobs.

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