CRD Director (Juan de Fuca area) Mike Hicks gave a passionate speech at the opening of the Sooke Fall Fair, which took place last weekend. Hicks thanked the Premier Horgan for his strong voice against the Trans Mountain Pipeline project, and he thanked the many people who run the salmon enhancement programs in the region. More, he said, remains to be done. We have asked him for a copy of his presentation, and are republishing it on SPN with his permission.
“Every year Ellen gives us a new topic to speak about. I had a hunch it would be Sooke zoning bylaws this year but was relieved to hear it was the environment and planet-clean.
“We are right up there in having the cleanest air on the planet. We have a prevailing westerly wind coming from the Pacific, and we have little or no smoke or smog. In the Juan de Fuca, we have 150,000 hectares of land of which 132,000 is Park, Watershed or TFL. We are truly blessed to live in the Juan de Fuca and Sooke area.
“Our ocean and our rivers are a different story.
“We have millions of people sharing the Salish Sea and thousands of freighters and tankers plying the Juan de Fuca Strait. We discharge billions of liters, of treated and un-treated sewage and waste water every day into the Salish Sea.
“Our 75 remaining southern resident killer whales are now endangered and science is attributing their demise to lack of Chinook salmon, vessel noise and polluted waters.
“We must become more aware, more involved and we must all demand more of our political representatives and governments to aggressively protect and clean our environment and salmon habitat.
“To that end, I want to thank the men and women of the Sooke Salmon Enhancement society and Charters Creek that have built and maintained the Sooke River stocks for the past 40 years
“And to thank our Premier for standing firm against the expansion of oil tanker traffic without proper spill response in place and for trying to protect the Salish Sea, and for starting the process to bring in the Provincial Government, to help our struggling salmon stocks.
“Thank you everyone for listening, it’s been an honor, have a great fair.”