DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Peace River Regional District just received a written letter back from the Government regarding Southern Mountain Caribou Protection.
Brad Sperling, Chair and the Directors of the Peace River Regional District (PRRD), had sent two letters to Premier John Horgan, and a third letter sent by the PRRD Communications Manager in which the first letter was dated November 9th, 2018.
The letter that was written back was dated February 5th, 2019 by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman.
The letter from Minister was shared to the FB Page by the Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery (CCCR). Group member Kathleen Connolly – Executive Director Dawson Creek & District Chamber of Commerce said “they felt the letter was patronizing,”
Connolly addresses the letter by saying “It was a form letter like one that has been sent out to others who have sent letters of concern to Minister Heyman’s office, the top of the letter was clearly individualized to the meetings in Prince George at the end of January yet the rest felt like a typical form letter.
The letter goes on to speak about the government needing a collaborative approach as they move forward with Caribou recovery and about petitions that have been filed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This challenging the federal and provincial efforts and having an Emergency Order recommended by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
“Three of us sat in the meeting in Prince George with Ministers Heyman and Minister Donaldson and they looked us square in the eyes and said they would be starting consultation and have a draft consultation by the middle of February and it has been radio silence. We have heard nothing from them since the meeting at the end of January,” said Connolly.
The letter then shares the provincial and federal governments are creating an agreement that will align with the Provincial Caribou recovery plan which will be shared for comment prior to finalization in the spring. With the continued partnership with the First Nations and the focused engagement on the draft Partnership Agreement will start in February.
Connolly says, “It’s the same thing, they make promises and then they don’t deliver. People are frustrated and the clock is ticking and there is still so much uncertainty around what these closures might look like. The frustration continues to amp up as the government continues to side step our concerns.
The government expresses in the letter its desire to work with the PRRD and communities that can be impacted by this agreement.
“To hear absolutely nothing from the government just only enforces that government is making decisions without consulting the community, so the concern continues to grow as we feel our voice becomes smaller and that we won’t be consulted with, yet told what the plan is which is very concerning.
The region has been actively trying to have open meetings with the government in regards to the Caribou Recovery Program.
Concerned Citizen’s for Caribou Recovery FB Page; CLICK HERE
For more on the Concerned Citizen’s for Caribou Recovery; CLICK HERE
For more on the Public Consultation in February; CLICK HERE
For more on Bob Zimmer’s Town Hall; CLICK HERE