Two bull mountain caribou spar on a snowy fall day.

COLUMNS: Government balks at public caribou consultations

The public has a right to be deeply upset with provincial government because of a lack of public consultation on plans to manage the Caribou populations back to health.

We all want to see this species rebound from its current low numbers in our region and right across the province.

But the public also wants to be a part of the solution, especially if the government’s plans involves significantly altering the industrial and recreational use of the land we call home.

We are talking about a huge swath of land sweeping from the Peace River region right down to the Kootenays.

Everything from tourism, forestry, mining and just the simple pleasure of enjoying the outdoors could be affected.

It’s no wonder that a group called Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery (CCCR) is quickly gathering steam out of frustration with the government’s behind-closed-doors approach to addressing the situation.

Aaron Mathias represents the CCCR and says their demands are simple: “We want baseline data on the science behind management decisions, a report on how this will impact the economy in rural British Columbia, and we want a genuine public consultation.”

But forest minister Doug Donaldson and environment minister George Heyman are still giving the public, local governments and even MLAs the cold shoulder.

I have written and called both cabinet ministers on multiple occasions and they still won’t budge.

In fact, the B.C. Natural Resources Forum held in Prince George last week would have been a perfect opportunity to launch public consultations with everyone there from industry to elected officials, but no dice.

Last week the Peace River Regional District issued a news release saying the government plans to initiate public and stakeholder engagement in that part of the world, but I would not hold my breath.

Every time a public meeting has been announced by a local government it suddenly gets cancelled at the last minute.

It’s time to let the public be a part of the solution.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Williams Lake pursues funding for one-stop-shop for youth services

Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre is partnering with other agencies on its foundry application

Photos: Spring Hobby Con brings out the lakecity’s passion

Tim Hurley is already planning for the second annual Winter Hobby Con

New businesses consider organizing the Stampede Street Party

Downtown Williams Lake announced in March it would not be going ahead with the street party

Ecosystem restoration burn planned for Churn Creek area

The BC Wildfire Service will conduct the 100-hectare burn sometime between April 17 and May 17

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

VIDEO: Gang and gun violence prevention training gets underway in Williams Lake

For two days local stakeholders are learning about gang reduction through informed practice

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Most Read