Conserving Caribou

Response from Minister Donaldson to Andrew Wilkinson’s letter published March 30,2019

To the editor;

Andrew Wilkinson’s letter about our government’s steps to preserve vulnerable caribou is an attempt to muddy the waters and avoid his own party’s responsibility for the challenges we face.

To begin with, the need to recover caribou is clear.

In May 2018, the federal government declared that certain Southern Mountain Caribou herds in B.C. were facing imminent threats to their recovery.

In addition, several groups have filed legal petitions demanding action to recover the herds.

The federal government has the power to issue an emergency protection order under section 80 of the Species at Risk Act.

Such an order would only consider the habitat needs of the caribou and not include industrial or recreational interest. Such an order could also cost billions of dollars in economic losses to B.C. Already, the federal government has issued emergency protection orders for sage grouse in Saskatchewan.

We are in this state because the previous government simply failed to put in place a comprehensive strategy to address declining caribou populations in the Peace and the rest of the province. They left a patchwork of options which simply did not address the problem. When we took office in 2017, our government was left to clean up a mess Mr. Wilkinson’s party left.

We chose to try to negotiate a bi-lateral agreement (between B.C. and Canada) to conserve caribou populations. The draft agreement is based on the Province’s draft caribou recovery program which First Nations, the public and stakeholders provided feedback on from April to June 2018.

The draft partnership agreement between B.C., Canada and the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations resulted from public consultation on an earlier draft agreement during November and December 2017.

The draft partnership agreement will have economic impacts in the northeast, which is why a detailed economic impact analysis is being undertaken with input from communities and local businesses. As part of the draft agreement, we expect the federal government will be providing resources to offset any economic impacts that come from this.

Our government recognizes the importance of our natural resource industries, our wildlife and the value British Columbians place on the great outdoors.

We’ve also been very clear that public engagement is required to inform the final agreements. Misleading comments from the opposition leader that are primarily aimed at distracting from his own party’s failure don’t help British Columbians as they work with us to restore caribou habitat in this province.


Doug Donaldson

Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural


Operations and Rural Development

Just Posted

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Lions’ Easter Sunday well past 40 year mark in Barriere

The Annual Barriere Lions Club Pancake Breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt has… Continue reading

Bingo fundraiser helps After School Program

Bingo was on the agenda for the North Thompson Activity Centre Society… Continue reading

Mascon fiber optics being installed in Barriere

A work crew was spotted last week on Apr. 17 at the… Continue reading

YCS takes over early years programs in Barriere

By Jill Hayward On Mar. 31, 2019, the Success By 6 initiative,… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Judge rejects hunter’s bid to get back a sheep shot in northern B.C.

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Most Read