Ecojustice statement a Superbowl-sized insult to BC’s professional veterinarians

Like Doug Baldwin at the Superbowl, Ecojustice uses their victory to take a big, gloating dump on their opponents.
Like Doug Baldwin at the Superbowl, Ecojustice uses their “victory” to take a big, gloating dump on their opponents.

It’s enough to make you sick.

Last December, Alexandra Morton managed to convince Ecojustice to back her personal vendetta against someone who once made her look bad.

This month, the College of Veterinary Biologists relented (probably to stop the annoying Ecojustice press releases) and decided to set the Wayback Machine to 2007 and investigate her complaint.

"But Mr. Peabody, what does it matter if someone accidentally said something wrong 8 years ago?"  "Quiet you, this is PERSONAL."
“But Mr. Peabody, what does it matter if someone accidentally said something wrong 8 years ago?”
“Quiet you, this is PERSONAL.”

In the spirit of poor sportsmanship, Ecojustice, which exists to sue businesses and organizations over perceived environmental malfeasance, published this gem recently calling the College’s decision a “victory” for Ecojustice.

They earn themselves the Doug Baldwin Sportsmanship Award for the final comment:

“With this victory, the College better understands both its duty to investigate complaints from the public and its duty to ensure veterinarians are held accountable for their veterinary practices.”

The college knows its duty, and does it well.  This backhanded, smug slap at every single professional veterinarian in BC, in aquaculture or otherwise, is a disgrace, an insult and shows the anti-science ignorance – and possibly outright cynicism — of the lawyers involved in this case.


PS – Apparently Alexandra Morton is building another new house on Sointula. Keep on sending in those non-tax-refundable donations!


6 thoughts on “Ecojustice statement a Superbowl-sized insult to BC’s professional veterinarians”

  1. Several points arising.

    The professional reliance model of regulation has a wide currency in BC and elsewhere. It ensures, nominally, that the professionals whose advice is sought, act with the highest professional standards in keeping with the public interest. In turn the regulators and the public rely on the governing professional body to act in the public interest.

    If one professional body has a credibility issue, all professional bodies have collateral impact. The name and status of the complainant is not a material consideration.

    In the EcoJustice matter, as I understand it, the College of Veterinarians declined to investigate. As I read the matter, it is not as if the complaint was investigated and found wanting, it was stopped before any investigation. If I am wrong, please set me straight.

    As I understand the matter, there was a prima facie case to be made based on evidence in the public domain that called for investigation first and disposition later, not disposition before investigation.

    The fact that the complainant is a well known activist is irrelevant. The question is whether the parties acted in the public interest. Saying that a complaint was rejected because the complainant has a well known point of view, is scarcely acting in the public interest. If the complainant was named Joe Blow or Jane Doe, would they be treated differently?

    What arises from the investigation is a matter for the College of Veterinarians. Until then, no winner and no loser.

    No, I am not a veterinarian, a biologist, a lawyer or a fish farm advocate but I do have an interest in due process – in the public interest.

    1. Who said the complaint was rejected because who the complainant was? The College did provide a reason why it wasn’t investigated but it was not as if they didn’t consider the complaint. Again there are a multiple ways the College can proceed and various sanctions they can use. They seem to indicate that Cohen had dealt with much of what the complaint was about. Cohen was pretty clear on what the status of our knowledge was on ISA and ISAv.

      BC farms don’t import eggs anymore as brood fish come from here. Any imported eggs were screened for ISAv and the resulting juveniles were quarenteed to check for presence of the virus before they were utilized. The real kicker is this…..If ISA was present on BC fish farms the mortality on the farmed Atlantic Salmon would be massive and quite noticeable. To date, after thousands of tested Atlantic Salmon morts by the province, neither ISA or ISAv have been found.

      The funny thing is that it is Morton that has been the one misleading the public about ISA and ISAv – yet she is the one complaining about accountability from the College of Veterinarians…..Crazy. Morton’s comments about exotic pathogens are not serving the public interest. But have the college investigate and carry out this due process if that’s what has to be done. In the end though the facts about the presence of ISA and ISAv in our waters can’t be twisted by Morton or Ecojustice.

  2. All professional organizations have mechanisms for dealing with complaints of a member’s professional conduct including the College of Veterinarians. How do we know they didn’t look into this? The fact is they did, but not to the satisfaction of Morton who has made this more into a personal vendetta which in the end will amount to really nothing because her theory of ISAv and ISA in BC has been severely dealt a death blow with recent studies by both the Canadian and US governments. Not to mention what Justice Cohen had to say, but Morton conveniently ignores. This is why the events in Norway are the flavour of the day for Morton and her followers.

    Charges? File charges with who? Criminal charges? Well, people that belong to a professional organization realize that they have committees that deal with complaints and have a variety of sanctions at their disposal they can use. They can range from things like a reprimand to restrictions placed on a member’s professional practice to expulsion from the organization. They can also include dismissal of the complaint. Professional organizations take these responsibilities seriously. Go to a professional organization’s website and it will explain the legislation they adhere to, the code of conduct that members are required to adhere to, how complaints are dealt with (not a kangaroo court), and the outcomes of those complaint investigations. For Ecojustice to imply that this “victory” helps the College better understand those responsibilities is kind of a slap in the face to professionals. Perhaps the lawyers from Ecojustice can explain the professional organization they belong to? I can tell you these organizations have done more to protect communities and ecosystems in BC then what Alexandra Morton has ever done.

    Alexandra Morton should also be held to the highest professional standards, but as already mentioned, this is a moot point now as she has bowed out of the College of Applied Biology and is not longer an RPBio. How convenient, but also more dangerous as this doesn’t prevent her from providing professional opinions on subject matter she has no idea about, such as Pacific Salmon, fish pathology, genetics, and virology. Who is now providing the professional oversight of Morton considering she is providing opinions and advice outside of her professional realm? Answer: Nobody. If she is no longer obligated to follow the highest professional standards what reassurance does the public have that her work is in the public interest and biologically sound? Answer: None. When she takes donation money for her Quesnel Lake sampling who holds her accountable for the appropriation of those funds, the disclosure of the water test results as well as the proper interpretation of those results? Answer: Nobody. When Morton refers to herself as “Dr.” in situations when is not appropriate who oversees that and protects the public from misleading identification of one’s academic credentials? Answer: Well, this is where it helps to have like-minded friends who believe in the same garbage science. Besides it looks good on the reports.

    Personally, I believe the public and wild salmon are at greater risk of individuals who are not part of a professional organization, yet these individuals are still providing opinions and advice with no accountability or code of conduct to adhere to. Congratulations, Ecojustice, for putting on the WWE referee cap and showing how you are really protecting our environment!

  3. A little bit over the top comment. It is all about due process not a professional slight to the veterinary profession.

    The College of Veterinarians has first to demonstrate to the public it has a process for dealing with complaints. It then has to review the initial data and decide to investigate further. If the evidence shows the complaint has merit it then has to file charges and conduct a hearing in front of other veterinarians.

    The fact of investigating a complaint does not necessarily have professional consequences. It is all in the public interest. That is why they are called a self governing profession. The veterinarians have a due process as does the public. No winner, no loser at this stage.

    1. The last comment in Ecojustice’s press release, in which they claim that the college has learned the error of their ways, is completely inappropriate and unnprofessional. Just like pretending to poop a football at the Superbowl.

  4. Funny that Eco JustAnAss and Morton are not concerned about the complaint lodged to the Registered Professional Biology concerning Morton’s repeated breach of the RPBio standards. The complaint also went without investigation – Morton just quit the group because she knew she couldn’t play in the sand box with other RPBios.

    Apparently the rules that Morton expects to apply to everyone else don’t apply to her at all.

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