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Reports vary greatly on size of Victoria salmon protest

Biologist Alexandra Morton attracted a crowd to downtown Victoria Saturday at the culmination of her walk from Sointula in support of wild salmon and against fish farms, but just how big depends on which news organization you turn to.

Here's how Times Colonist reporters Katie DeRosa and Judith Lavoie had it in a story that also ran in the Vancouver Sun: “Nearly 1,000 people crowded Government Street on Saturday at the end of a 500-kilometre walk to protest fish farms, which participants blame for killing B.C.’s wild salmon.”

The CBC previewed the event saying 300 people were walking and “thousands” were expected at the Legislature, while the Victoria News' Sharon Tiffin reported that “thousands gathered.”

Meanwhile, Brennan Clarke wrote for today's Globe and Mail that “In one of the largest environmental demonstrations the city has ever seen, close to 4,000 people turned out for the culmination of Ms. Morton’s 500-kilometre 'Get Out Migration' walk.”

Later in his story Clarke offered details that could explain why reporters differed on the number of participants by a factor of four: “The crowd of about 500 protest walkers swelled to well over 1,000 at Centennial Square before continuing to the legislature where an even larger crowd was waiting.”

A Tyee assessment of photos of the event found protesters are as difficult to count as Fraser River sockeye.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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