Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell has appointed the first members of the new independent Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board. “Appointing members to the Aquaculture Review Board is an important next step in ensuring our aquaculture industry continues to grow in an environmentally sustainable way,” said Mr. Colwell. “The knowledge and experience these members bring to the review board will give us one of the most robust approaches for regulating aquaculture in the world.” Jean McKenna of the Halifax Regional Municipality was appointed as chair of the review board. Ms. McKenna is a retired lawyer with 30 years’ experience as a litigator. She is currently the chair of the Nova Scotia Police Review Board. She also has involvement with such bodies as the Elizabeth Fry Society, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and Metro Resource Centre for Independent Living. Ms. McKenna is being appointed as chair of the Aquaculture Review Board for a three-year term. Michael McKinnon of Halifax Regional Municipality was appointed as a member of the review board. Mr. McKinnon is an owner of two businesses giving him experience in business management and financial risk assessment. He has knowledge of recreational fishing industries through his long time enjoyment of recreational salmon fly fishing. His appointment is for a two-year term. Richard Patterson of Halifax Regional Municipality is currently the president of AquaEng Consulting. He is an adjunct assistant professor of the Engineering Department, Dalhousie University and a member of the Aquaculture Engineering Society and continues to study the engineering aspects of aquaculture broadly. His appointment is for a three-year term. The Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board is a new adjudicative board which reviews and makes decisions on applications for marine aquaculture licences and leases. They will also hold public hearings on applications. Aquaculture is worth about $60 million annually to the Nova Scotia economy and supports 600 direct jobs. For more information on the regulations and aquaculture visit http://novascotia.ca/fish/aquaculture.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had already found resettlement places for the four who had fled to Kyrgyzstan immediately after violence in the Uzbek city of Andijan in May 2005 and were part of a group of some 500 asylum seekers, all of whom were later recognized as refugees. Uzbekistan had been seeking their extradition.“We fear for their safety. This refoulement [forced return] is an extremely serious violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention – which Kyrgyzstan has ratified – under which no refugees should be forcibly returned to their country of origin,” said Commissioner António Guterres.“What is even more disturbing is that we had secured resettlement places in different countries for the four refugees months ago and had been asking the Kyrgyz authorities to allow us to transfer them.” The Uzbeks were deported by Kyrgyz authorities, through the Dostuk border crossing, to neighbouring Uzbekistan on Wednesday morning.In mid-June, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan upheld a department of migration service decision not to grant refugee status to the four while the fifth Uzbek, who was arrested in October 2005 after a request from Uzbekistan, still had his asylum appeal claim pending.“Since the beginning of these proceedings over the four refugees we have repeatedly asked the Kyrgyz authorities to maintain their commitment to their international obligations. This grave breach is a huge disappointment as the deportees’ lives may be at stake. Kyrgyzstan has failed to protect these refugees,” said Mr. Guterres.“This is an even greater disappointment given everything Kyrgyzstan has done for Uzbek refugees in the past,” he added. UNHCR left Uzbekistan in mid-April after a government request in March asked the agency to end its work in the country within one month.Shortly after last year’s violence in Andijan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour expressed fears that asylum-seekers and refugees forced to return to Uzbekistan “may face an imminent risk of grave human rights violations, including torture and extra-judicial and summary executions.”