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

Seniors in Williams Lake visit in the Seniors Activity Centre parking lot during a summer coffee house held during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Turkey ‘Dinner Out the Door’ coming up Nov. 7 at seniors centre

Derksen added in-town delivery is also available by calling 250-392-7946

North District RCMP are urging the public’s assistance in locating Prince George resident Amber Weutz, 25, last seen Oct. 18 in the Canim Mahood Lake area east of 100 Mile House. (Photo submitted)
RCMP release more information on missing Prince George woman

Amber Weutz, 25, was last seen in the Canim and Mahood Lake area on Oct. 18

Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune
SLIDESHOW: Nesika celebrates Halloween with costume parade, dance

Classes took turns within their own cohorts taking part in each event

The Williams Lake Skating Club is thrilled to introduce new coach Brenda Boulin (right) to its team. Boulin joins head coach Joanne Macnair (centre) and coach Breanna Davidson. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Skating Club welcomes new coach to team

WLSC longtime head coach Joanne Macnair is thrilled to welcome Brenda Boulin back home

While the weather in Williams Lake wreaked havoc on roads and flooded homes this week, the swans didn’t seem to mind it at all. (David Fait photo)
Waterlogged: Williams Lake downright soggy after days of rain

October has seen an unusual amount of rain fall in the Cariboo this year

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read