Migrating Caribou are shown in the Porcupine River Tundra in the Yukon Territories, on August 12, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rick Bowmer

Horgan’s caribou liaison quits

Blair Lekstrom was appointed to ease tension between local groups over plan to save threatened herds

Premier John Horgan says the man he appointed to help in the recovery of threatened caribou in B.C.’s northeast has resigned.

In a statement issued Friday, Horgan thanks former Liberal cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom for his important work on the difficult issue of protecting the animals.

Government figures from 2019 reveal the Dawson Creek area has six caribou herds, but their numbers have declined from 800 to about 220 over two decades.

Horgan appointed Lekstrom last year to bridge tensions between local groups, including backcountry enthusiasts and Indigenous nations, over government plans to save threatened herds.

The province implemented an interim moratorium on the recovery program when Lekstrom produced a report calling for more local government involvement.

However, Horgan says the province cannot unilaterally change the program’s partnership agreement, which requires the consent of all parties involved in the recovery program. Those parties are the provincial and federal governments and the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations.

Lekstrom told CHNL radio in Kamloops that the government implemented only one of 14 of his recommendations.

“It’s unfortunate it came to this point, but it became very clear recently with a letter the premier had sent to the Peace River Regional District in my area stating they had no intention to change any text within the partnership agreement.”

Lekstrom said industry, business and the local government all wanted to be part of the planning process in working towards protecting the caribou.

Chetwynd Mayor Allen Courtoreille said last July that Lekstrom’s appointment by Horgan gave the communities an unofficial seat at the negotiating table after their requests had been ignored by the provincial government.

The Peace River Regional District issued a statement Friday and released a letter from Horgan saying the province would allow input from local governments without changing partnership agreements.

“More than two years have elapsed since the federal government ordered the creation of a caribou recovery plan,” Horgan’s letter says, adding he heard directly from federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson in a recent meeting that the matter was urgent.

The district said it advised Horgan it would no longer participate in two caribou-related working group meetings. (Canadian Press, CHNL)

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cariboo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Conservation society hosting Free Your Things Weekend event June 20-21

Residents are encouraged to place reusable items with a free sign clearly visible

Williams Lake RCMP request public help in finding clues to stolen Dodge truck

Incident not linked to Tuesday’s hunt for a suspect who collided with a police car

UPDATE: Williams Lake RCMP suspend search overnight for suspect on the run

Public asked to keep eye out for suspicous activity

Rotary Stampede Community Spirit Drive-Thru Breakfast planned for Williams Lake, July 4

Stampede director Tim Rolph shared details during Tuesday’s city council meeting

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Most Read