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Cohen Commission selects participants in salmon inquiry

The federal commission examining the collapse of Fraser River sockeye salmon has released the list of people invited to participate in the formal public hearings.

The Cohen Commission granted standing status to 20 groups and individuals, which means they will be able to propose witnesses, cross-examine witnesses and make oral submissions to the commission.

"While the Commission received 50 applications for standing -- a number we believe is higher than any other federal commission of inquiry -- Commissioner Cohen determined that several applicants with similar concerns should share in single grants of standing, bringing us down to 20," stated senior commission counsel Brian Wallace in a press release.

The public can get involved in the process by attending public hearings and making written submissions, which will be posted on the commission's website.

Those who received standing status include the federal and provincial governments, Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., the BC Salmon Farmers Association, the Seafood Producers Association of BC, an aquaculture coalition that includes Alexandra Morton, a conservation coalition that includes the David Suzuki Foundation and the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, gillnetters and trollers associations as well as First Nation treaty groups, coalitions and tribal councils.

The complete list can be viewed here

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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