Bob's Weekly Report

Share your concerns over caribou recovery plans in your region

Bob Zimmer
Share your concerns over caribou recovery plans in your region

Dec. 10 - Over the past few weeks I have continued to hear your voices of grave concern about the lack of consultation for caribou recovery plans in our region.

A vast majority of local leaders, including myself, have grown increasingly alarmed by the idea that we could soon be denied access to large portions of land in our region and what that will mean for our communities and local economy.

I am deeply concerned at the lack of invitation and involvement by our affected communities in the caribou recovery planning. We are hearing of plans, but it seems only a select few are being allowed to participate.

Recently I sent a letter to Premier John Horgan supporting the call by many of our local representatives to have the ministers involved in the caribou protection process arrange to meet with all the northern and interior mayors and regional district chairs and to work together to come up with a plan that mitigates the risks to both the caribou and our communities.

Many of us had been looking forward to attending the December 7 meeting that provincial officials had scheduled with the Peace River Regional District to hear more about their caribou recovery plans and were deeply disappointed when this meeting was canceled because the province refused to allow the general public to attend.

I applaud the regional district for standing their ground and refusing to have the meeting unless it was open to the public. This issue is too important to too many people to have it behind closed doors and I think it’s understandable that people are feeling nervous when the government doesn’t want the public to know what it has planned.

So what can we do now? We have seen before that concerned citizens calling ministers’ offices can make a big difference and I have included all provincial and federal ministers either in charge or influential in the caribou recovery planning. Please call or write now and make sure your voice is heard.

Here are their email addresses and phone numbers:

Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change:
Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca and
613-946-8682

Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change:
Sean.Fraser@parl.gc.ca and 902-752-0226

Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard: Jonathan.Wilkinson@parl.gc.ca and 604-775-6333

Honourable George Heyman, BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy:
George.Heyman.MLA@leg.bc.ca and
604-775-2453

Honourable Doug Donaldson, BC Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
Doug.Donaldson.MLA@leg.bc.ca and
250-842-6338

Honourable Scott Fraser, BC Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation:
Scott.Fraser.MLA@leg.bc.ca and
250-720-4515

If they are unwilling to come to us to have this conversation, then we will bring it to them.