MP for Courtenay-Alberni Gord Johns paid tribute to the late Ucluelet fisher Doug Kimoto in a Nov. 29 speech delivered in the House of Commons.
“Mr. Speaker, Doug Kimoto spent almost 60 years dedicated to commercial salmon trolling and his family’s livelihood on the west coast of Vancouver Island. He was a tireless advocate for the salmon trolling industry and for salmon enhancement,” Johns said.
“In 1985, Doug’s industry was sacrificed in Canada’s Pacific Salmon Treaty with the United States, which resulted in a 50 per cent cut in the Chinook catch for which the Government of Canada received $30 million in compensation. Doug Kimoto passed away last year, without receiving one cent of this compensation. He equated his treatment by the Canadian government in his fishing career with the way his own Japanese-Canadian family was treated in 1942,” Johns continued.
Johns claimed that, to this day, the Department of Fisheries has still not spent more than $10 million of the $30 million Pacific Salmon Treaty settlement, and that Kimoto lost half of his income from 2008 to 2019 as a result.
“Doug Kimoto was a proud Canadian who fought hard for the commercial salmon trolling industry and the compensation he and his fellow fishers were owed. Their treatment by the Canadian government has been a national disgrace. Doug is gone but not forgotten. His fight will not end until there is justice for the west coast commercial salmon fishers,” said MP Johns.
Mary Kimoto was pleased to see her departed son honoured.
“It felt really good to hear because it’s time they did something about it, and it’s not just for Doug, it’s for the West Coast fisherman,” she said.
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