Provincial Election Politics and Wildlife

Get out and vote.

Advanced poles are open already and election day is on Saturday, October 24, 2020.

The recent Progress Report on the Province of British Columbia’s Wildlife Platform clearly demonstrates how a lack of government funding is connected to the wildlife crisis we find ourselves in,” said Bill Bosch, B.C. Wildlife Federation President. 

The four main parties in the 2020 Election have released their platforms. See what they have to say about fish, wildlife, habitat and the environment:

B.C. Party Platforms:

BC Greens – Wildlife management and biodiversity

BC Liberal Party – Restore Confidence. Rebuild B.C.

BCNDP – Working For You

Conservative Party of British Columbia

The BC Wildlife Federation presented a series of questions to the political parties. See the answers provided by the BC Green party,  BC Liberals partyBC NDP party and the Conservative Party of British Columbia.

The North Peace Rod and Gun Club also sent out a single question to all the candidates running in the South and North Peace ridings:

Background

In B.C., we now have endangered steelhead, endangered caribou, record low salmon and moose populations, and in parts of the province, declining sheep and mule deer populations. Dwindling fish and wildlife values mean increased social conflict and a loss of food security and tourism-related jobs, all while leaving today’s British Columbians wondering if they will leave this province better than they found it.

Many of the constituents in the BC Peace-Liard Region have good paying jobs in the resource extraction sectors such as oil and gas, forestry and mining. Many of those same constituents are licensed or First Nations anglers and hunters who depend on fish and wildlife to fill their freezers, while others also own or are employed in businesses that rely on abundant fish and wildlife.

Question:

Given that resource extraction activities can have a negative impact on fish, wildlife and their habitats, and thinking beyond just caribou with a focus on keeping the common species (deer, elk, moose, wild sheep etc.) common:

If you are elected, what legislative changes or initiatives will you commit to supporting in order to reverse the declining trends for B.C.’s fish and wildlife while also preserving jobs in natural resource related businesses? How do you envision that change making a positive impact on fish, wildlife and their habitats? Please include costing and a timeline for your plan.

Kathleen Connolly Conservative Party of British Columbia South Peace Riding

Kathleen pointed us to the answers the conservatives provided to the BC Wildlife Federation and to the party platform. Kathleen also added:

I believe strongly and have been an advocate for more resources, funding and collaboration to support fish and wildlife. It is a large part of the culture of the peace region and we must do our very best to balance economic stability with environmental balance.

Kathleen also explained how requiring companies to put up a “bond” would work: Bonds would be returned provided the reclamation meets standards set out.  5 years after the project is complete and operational the impact on fish and wildlife would be completed and companies would base the compensation package on those results. It is imperative that healthy numbers of fish and wildlife are planned for today’s harvesting and tomorrow’s hunters and fishers.