The annual Cariboo Chilcotin NDP fall supper was a sold-out event in 100 Mile House on Saturday, Oct. 27.
At one point, it became uncertain if guest speaker, BC NDP leader Adrian Dix, would even make it to the supper when thick fog in Williams Lake forced Dix’s morning flight back to Vancouver.
Dix, however, managed to catch the next flight to Kamloops and rented a car for the two and a half hour drive to 100 Mile.
Guests greeted Dix with a big round of applause as he arrived, said the Cariboo Chilcotin NDP in a press release.
Following a meal of locally-grown food catered by the Horse Lake Community Farm Co-op, Cariboo Chilcotin NDP candidate Charlie Wyse addressed the room and talked about the important connection between the environment and the economy.
“The economy is always connected with the environment, it doesn’t matter which particular industry we’re talking about. Whether it’s forestry, mining, tourism or agriculture. You have to have oversight upon the industry in order to ensure the environment is not adversely affected,” Wyse told the Tribune during a phone interview Tuesday, Oct. 30.
“I went into the industries around here. In forestry, when you have a look at the effect that massive clear cuts of the beetle kill have had on the environment you see that as an example of when there isn’t adequate oversight.
“In the area of tourism we can talk about the same issue. We’ve had tourism operators and the tourism association warning how massive clear cuts have impacted that industry.”
Clearcutting also impacts agriculture, as has especially been seen in the Big Creek watershed where there has been flooding, he added.
“The ore deposit that exists at Fish Lake is also an issue. Not only do we have the environmental review decision that came down from Ottawa turning down the project, although B.C. had given it a thumbs up, but the issue around First Nations and the fact both supreme courts of B.C. and Canada have set the conditions under which First Nations must be involved with all these various discussions.”
From the NDP point of view, Wyse said the party has developed an overview of how to work within existing limitations and that he’s firmly convinced that the approach brought forth by Adrian Dix, which brings all parties to the table to find workable solutions, will assist in finding solutions for the economic future of the Cariboo Chilcotin.
“I talked about the government’s recent mid-term timber supply report and asked how anyone can plan for economic security when there is no inventory? I included that very specifically in my discussion on how the oversight of Victoria doesn’t help this region, both the person working in these industries as well as the communities they live in.”
Dix also addressed the audience, and, among other topics, outlined the NDP’s approach as it heads toward the spring election campaign.
He promised the NDP would say what they would do and say how they would pay for it, focusing on key priorities to address challenges around productivity, inequality and sustainability.
Foremost among his priorities will be a commitment to skills training. He also stressed the NDP would run a positive campaign, free of personal attacks.
At the close of his speech Dix entertained several questions from the audience then talked individually with many people as the evening came to an end. Prior to the dinner, the local Cariboo Chilcotin NDP held their AGM and elected their officers and executive committee for the coming year.