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NDP nets William Shatner in bid to save wild salmon

William Shatner stars with George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and De Forest Kelly in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

You knew he cared about the Klingons - though perhaps not in a positive way. But fish?

William Shatner will speak in defence of British Columbia's wild salmon at a press conference on Thursday that is being organized by the NDP. Mr. Shatner will actually be calling in from Los Angeles as opposed to appearing in person.

But the New Democrats are still pretty proud of their ability to convince a star to back their cause.

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Fin Donnelly, the NDP MP for New Westminster-Coquitlam, has introduced a private-member's bill that would require the Pacific salmon-farming industry to move its operations out of coastal waters and into closed containment to prevent the spread of the sea lice that have been blamed for the decline of the species in the wild.

Mr. Shatner, the 79-year-old star of the original Star Trek and other series including Boston Legal, is an angler.

"So I phoned him and told him about this bill that I have got to move to closed containment to protect wild salmon on the west coast and he was happy to help," said Mr. Donnelly.

Mr. Shatner apparently filmed an episode of Boston Legal on the tip of Vancouver Island that was all about salmon farms and the demise of the west-coast stocks. He began working with some of the B.C. activists and has written to the Prime Minister about it.

When he was touted earlier this as a potential replacement for Michaëlle Jean as Governor-General, he quipped via Twitter: "Would they accept me if I campaign for salmons' rights?"

He's taken a stand on it, said Mr. Donnelly, "and he's willing to work with us on it."

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More

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