DAWSON CREEK, B.C.- After the recent cancellation of the meeting between the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Peace River Regional District, MLA’s and the general public feel left out of the province’s caribou recovery process.
The Ministry backed out of the scheduled meeting when the regional district councillors asked to have the meeting made open to the public.
“Without an open and transparent process, the province is creating a divide in the community because not everyone is at the table,” said Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier. “I understand that local first nations have been consulted, and that’s important, but by keeping most people in the dark, the ministry is creating a great deal of needless anxiety. The fact is the government has failed to do the bare minimum of consultation with local communities and stakeholders who could be adversely affected by the complete closure of caribou habitat.”
“As chair of rural caucus, I find it very disappointing that the government is failing to engage the public on a far-ranging issue that could stem economic activity in forestry, tourism and even mining,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA. “Local governments have been calling for greater involvement since the annual UBCM meeting last September, and similar to MLAs they have been left out in the cold. Everyone wants to protect caribou and their habitat, but we need discussions at the local level to come up with solutions that can work for everyone.”
“I have all sorts of constituents, from guide outfitters to people in the hospitality industry who are worried about how this plan will impact their future,” said Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok. “The preservation and survival of caribou populations is paramount, but the general public has a right to know what’s going on. When the ministry cancels a meeting because they don’t want public participation, it is bound to provoke uncertainty and apprehension.”
Many residents across Northern B.C. feel a lot of uncertainty and want to have their concerns heard and their rights protected. Below is an online petition to have the Province put a halt on the Project.
In the petition letter, Mike Mulvahill says that he feels that his and other resident’s way of life will be profoundly affected if the Program goes ahead as planned.
To view the online petition; CLICK HERE