Professional protester Alexandra Morton

May 17, 2010

Morton pest migrates to new post, Tom Fletcher, Blogs.BC Local News, Victoria Secrets, May 17, 2010

Professional protester Alexandra Morton, seen here in full Gaia mode at the recent anti-fish farm media event at the legislature, has one less pest to worry about as she continues her metamorphosis from science to religion on the issue.

One-time salmon farm employee Vivian Krause starts a new job today in the constituency office of North Island Conservative MP John Duncan. She has taken down her “fair questions” website, which quizzed Morton about her links to a multi-million-dollar “de-marketing” campaign aimed at B.C. salmon farms.

Krause has spent the past couple of years digging into Morton’s financial ecosystem, finding that it is an exotic place indeed. Tax records show Avatar-sized tentacles leading back to the deep-pocketed U.S. foundations that sponsored and directed earlier forest campaigns in B.C.

Krause sent a final letter to the Cohen Commission, which has accepted Morton among the people with standing to testify in the judicial inquiry into sockeye stocks. In it, Krause detailed her concerns about research funding at the University of Alberta, that great salmon think tank of the prairies that suddenly developed a keen interest in the computer modeling of sea lice.

Here’s a portion of Krause’s letter to Justice Cohen:

“The reason that I believe that it is important clarify the actual research findings and funding sources is this: If the University of Alberta would publicly clarify that a method to trace the origin of sea lice simply doesn’t exist, that sea lice levels at salmon farms and mortality in the wild were never measured by Alexandra Morton and others at the [U of A Centre for Mathematical Biology], that their computer-generated extinction prediction rests on highly selective use of data and questionable assumptions, and that this sea lice research was partially funded by commercial fishing interests and American interests, I believe that British Columbia would not have the sea lice controversy on which $20 – $30 million has now been spent.”

U of A brushed off her concerns, as did the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, which funded the research. Conflicts of interest in grant and degree award decisions apparently aren’t a priority. SFU, that bastion of left-wing political correctness, then jumped in to award Morton an honourary degree for her efforts to demonize fish farms and deflect attention away from Alaska and other U.S. salmon ranching.

Morton, meanwhile, has decided she’s an economist in addition to her other areas of mastery. Those fish farm jobs are too low-paid to matter much in communities devastated by unemployment, she now argues. This follows the pattern of throwing whatever’s handy against aquaculture and hoping something sticks.

Tom Fletcher, Blogs.BC Local News, Victoria Secrets