Question 1 Bob Fedderly Independent Rob Fraser Independent Jeff Richert Independent Dan Davies Liberal Party of BC Rob Dempsey BC NDP
In terms of fish, wildlife and habitat, British Columbia is one of the most diverse jurisdictions in North America.  At the same time, B.C. is one of the most under-funded jurisdictions in North America and has no dedicated funding model.  Would you support increased funding for fish, wildlife and habitat (i.e. watershed, landscape) management?  Yes/No/How?  Yes. I would call on government to increase funding to Ministries that would get biologists/ researchers, CO’s  and Park Wardens out into the field to better assess populations and identify problems occurring that are impacting balances. Yes, absolutely. The Province needs to be putting increased funding to inventory and research studies. I am a big believer in research and science based management practices. Research in population and habitats for ungulates, fish, bird and predators needs to be constantly performed to understand what is happening on the land. Without knowledge such as this, we are just guessing as to impacts, allocation or other management practices.
Secondly, there needs to be a greater investment in human resources. There needs to be more people on the ground; not just bigger budgets but more full time equivalents for jobs. We need more researchers, biologists, and officers to fully understand what’s really going on. Money for this should be coming from the Habitat Conservation Fund directly rather than these funds going into general revenues.
Finally, I believe that responsibility for fish and wildlife policies and enforcement should go back to the Ministry of Environment as it was before FLNRO. FLNRO can retain the single point of contact for environmental approvals but they must work closely with MoE when there are impacts to fish and wildlife.

I would support initiatives that propose increased funding for fish and wildlife habitat. My experiences related to fish and wildlife management in the Peace Region for example have made me become quite concerned about the serious information gaps that exist related to fish and wildlife habitat and populations. I think it is important for government to be making informed decisions related to fish and wildlife management with the best information available. I have always envisioned fish and wildlife management to be funded partly through revenues generated from tourism to ensure that fish and wildlife habitat and populations are managed in a manner that benefits future generations of residents and visitors.  Our province’s natural beauty is rightfully a point of pride for British Columbians – it is also a gift to the world and we have a responsibility to enhance and protect it.  To this end, the BC Liberal government has worked hard to enhance fish, wildlife and habitat management.
In 2015, the Province signed an agreement with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to put 100 per cent of the revenue generated from fishing licences directly back into research, conservation and stocking projects. The society stocks about 800 lakes and streams across BC every year.  The Province also established the Living Rivers Trust, a $21 million fund to promote healthy watersheds, sustainable ecosystems and thriving communities. Since 2006, more than 300 projects have improved watershed governance, fisheries management, habitat, and increased public engagement in watershed stewardship.
Today’s BC Liberals will develop a plan to protect Steelhead Trout to preserve the species and their spawning grounds, including reaching out to the federal government to develop a collaborative approach. A BC Liberal government will also endow the new Wildlife Society with $5 million to manage and grow habitat, with future hunting fee revenue going towards the society to
No answers to date
 support their efforts.
Question 2 Bob Fedderly Independent Rob Fraser Independent Jeff Richert Independent Dan Davies Liberal Party of BC Rob Dempsey BC NDP
Fish, wildlife and habitat management in B.C. are currently objectiveless.  Many fish and wildlife populations are in decline, and some are at record lows.  Cumulative effects in parts of British Columbia from unsustainable resource extraction, invasive species, over-allocation of water resources, and road densities have left our landscape “in the red”.  Do you support legislated objectives for habitat, fish and wildlife populations? Yes/No/Why? How would you achieve them? Yes. Stewardship is a word thrown around by industries that extract resources. We need to improve how we look at this and do more to maintain populations of wildlife impacted by industrial activities. Pre activity inventories need to  be done and maintained throughout  the activity. Yes I support legislated policy objectives for environmental management. As an avid hunter and having been a trapper, I have seen firsthand the effects of multi layered resource extraction. Cumulative Impacts have rarely been considered in the overall management of the land and water base and this has often resulted in conflicts of tenure (i.e. oil and gas, forestry, guiding, trapping, first nation’s values, etc.) Due to these conflicts, in most cases, the fish and wildlife lose out. Currently, cumulative impact research is being studied by UNBC who have an advisory committee. This project and others like it need to be supported at all levels of government. We need to take Cumulative Impacts more seriously or we will get to the stage that all we will have is resource extraction and no land or water base left for fish and wildlife. This needs to happen quickly. Government needs to accept the fact that somewhere, sometime, government has to say “enough is enough”. Understanding cumulative impacts will inform good policy and I believe will inevitably lead to legislated limits. We do not have to reinvent the wheel, look to Montana for similar practices. I do support legislative objectives for habitat, fish and wildlife populations because I am the opinion that is the only way government can be held into account. I do not believe for a second that the BC Liberals would take on such a pro-active approach to addressing the multitude of concerns from many different groups of people. Sustainability of habitat, fish and wildlife populations would require the current government’s focus on exploitation of resources to reverse. On the subject of cumulative effects, there are plenty of words spoken on the issue with little to nothing being accomplished on the ground. Given my experience dealing with cumulative effects assessments in the Peace Region, I do not see another Liberal government taking any proactive steps on the issue that yields measurable results on the landscape. Look no further than the Site C Project to see how government deals with large foot print projects compared to lower impact alternatives. Today’s BC Liberals are focused on protecting fish, wildlife and their habitats, but we can do this without specific targets.  Instead, we use species management plans, such as the Mountain Goat Management Plan.
Today, 100% of angling licence revenue goes to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, which in turn invests back into the resource. We will also develop a plan to protect Steelhead Trout to preserve the species and their spawning grounds, including reaching out to the federal government to develop a collaborative approach.
Our platform includes a commitment to endow the new Wildlife Society with $5 million to manage and grow habitat, with future hunting fee revenue going towards the society to support their efforts. Additionally, habitat is legislatively protected through the Wildlife Act, Off-road Vehicle Act, and the Forests and Range Practices Act.
 
Question 3 Bob Fedderly Independent Rob Fraser Independent Jeff Richert Independent Dan Davies Liberal Party of BC Rob Dempsey BC NDP
Many mountain caribou populations are at a record low and moose populations are in significant decline in parts of B.C.  Science has shown anthropogenic change as the leading cause, as wolf predation has become a major source of mortality.  Do you support predator management as a part of sustainable science-based wildlife management? Yes. Imbalances in ratios of predator/prey need to be monitored, especially in areas where populations of certain species have declined due to industrial activities. Habitat enhancement needs to continue and be expanded. Yes I have supported responsible predator management since some of the first wolf cull programs in the Ft. Nelson area in the 1980's. I again have seen the success of these programs on the ground. It has been shown for years that wolf predation is one of the major things that impacts on ungulate populations. Unfortunately, predator control policies are not accepted in downtown Vancouver and that is where the votes are. Government has to search for more tools for wolf and bear control and needs to educate the public with respect to the importance of predator control policies to the overall health of wildlife populations. This is a tough issue but government needs to look at the larger picture. What is government going to do when all the ungulates, not just mountain caribou, are in crisis? This is already happening in the Northeast, Kootenays and other places in the province. I support predator management, but only as a last resort to save populations that are on the brink of extirpation. My experience with the South Peace caribou herds is that predator management in combination with a caribou penning project has been an effective tool in the short term but it does not address the more important issue of habitat degradation or fragmentation which is a fundamental reason why the caribou herds there are in steep decline. Today’s BC Liberals are committed to healthy and sustainable wildlife populations. We put conservation first to protect our province’s natural beauty and wildlife for future generations.
The BC government has acted to protect the long-term survival of BC’s caribou, investing millions of dollars and setting aside critical habitat.  And earlier this month, the Province took strong action to help reverse the population decline and ensure the long-term survival of BC’s caribou. The new, $27 million comprehensive caribou recovery program will build on existing recovery plans while using a more holistic approach that focuses on five key areas: restoring and protecting critical caribou habitat, expanding on existing maternal penning projects, predator management, increased research and monitoring, and increased compliance and enforcement.
The Province is also in the midst of a comprehensive five-year moose study, investigating recent moose population declines in B.C.'s Interior, and has dedicated $1.2 million to moose enhancement activities this year. This is in addition to the $725,000 being spent on moose management and the 5-year 
comprehensive moose research project. More than 200 moose will be radio collared, their movements tracked and mortalities will be investigated to determine cause of death.
Predator management is never the first choice and is used it only when necessary and supported by independent, science-based evidence.
Question 4 Bob Fedderly Independent Rob Fraser Independent Jeff Richert Independent Dan Davies Liberal Party of BC Rob Dempsey BC NDP
First Nations negotiations in B.C. are ongoing.  These negotiations are Government to Government with no public transparency or consultation.  This approach is divisive and is creating significant uncertainty and externalities due to a lack of public involvement.  Do you believe the public should be involved or consulted, related to negotiations? Yes/No/Why/How? Yes. I believe the public needs to be consulted. There are areas where lands being offered as incentives for groups to sign off on questionable projects will create divisions in communities, as now the negotiations are kept “secret”. This builds mistrust on both sides, and where it has taken years to establish relations within communities, they deteriorate rapidly. When the projects are over or finished and forgotten about, we will all remain neighbours, so we must not let outside forces damage long term relationships. As a local government representative I have been following the discussions and providing feedback about the lack of transparency to the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation (MARR) as they have been unfolding for the past year. The Treaty Land Entitlement and the BC Hydro Site C First Nations Land Accommodation negotiations have both been very secretive processes. There is a Peace River North Independent MLA MARR Stakeholders Group that is following these negotiations as closely as they are able with the lack of transparency from MARR. I believe that if it had not been for our local Rod and Gun Club and now Independent MLA Pat Pimm taking this issue on, most of what we know about this would not have surfaced. The public would have found out about this after the deal was done.
I agree that the current approach is and will be divisive as it puts concerned citizens at odds with First Nations communities when the public is finally informed of the outcome and there was in adequate involvement with the public. I believe that as a minimum, local government representatives be a part of the negotiations. I also believe that we need to have more advisory groups like the Independent MLA Stakeholders Group to hold government accountable for issues like this. I have also gone on record to say that the Charlie Lake and Mile 63.5 Lands be removed entirely from the MARR land negotiation processes. MARR must also collaborate with First Nations and the District of Hudson's Hope on the land within the Peace Moberly Tract as well.
I feel it is important for the public to have an opportunity to provide comment and have their concerns raised and considered in relation to any negotiation the Province is involved in. If negotiations with unions, project proponents or First Nations for example, were more transparent and better communicated to the public, I think people would be less concerned about the outcomes. Today’s BC Liberals are committed to province-wide reconciliation, and also reconciliation on a nation-to-nation basis.  We want to ensure this work is understood and supported by communities, local governments and industry. The BC Liberal government has enhanced engagement with stakeholders, emphasizing earlier and more frequent engagement with local government and industry. This helps ensure the agreements and partnerships we build with First Nations are supported throughout the negotiations process and that meaningful relationships are established and respected.  
Question 5 Bob Fedderly Independent Rob Fraser Independent Jeff Richert Independent Dan Davies Liberal Party of BC Rob Dempsey BC NDP
Public access to public resources such as fish, wildlife, public roads, and campsites is a growing issue in British Columbia.  For example, in 2015, government decided to award as much as 40 per cent of the wildlife allocation to guide-outfitters.  Is public access to public resources, such as fishing, hunting, camping and hiking important to you? How will you deal with these issues?  Yes. I believe it is important to all residents. Tenures granted to extraction activities must not eliminate public access with “controlled” roads and the like. Fair, equitable  allocations must be established to ensure populations remain stable or in fact increase to allow residents and outfitters opportunities to be successful. Some of this is very intricate and involves intensive management activities referred to above. Camping access for residents should take primary priority over tour operators, however tourism does need to be addressed, with more camping/rv sites being made available in the area. Yes, public access to fishing, hunting, camping and hiking is very important to me. I believe that government harvest policies must ensure conservation, First Nations ceremonial and sustenance, resident hunters and fisherman, and commercial hunting and fishing priorities in that order. Research is the key. Understanding what is actually happening on the ground is vital. We need to be able to scientifically prove what sustainable harvest limits look like. We then need to get everyone to the table to discuss this and other resource issues. In the past, there used to be annual meetings with the Guide Outfitters and BCWF to talk about allocation and although not everyone agreed with the ultimate allocation decisions, at least a dialogue occurred and people had their say. I think with ungulate populations dropping and disagreements with the Victoria staff over population estimates for species like grizzly bear, bison and in some cases sheep, we need to have more engagement and collaboration with the stakeholders to get to more acceptable solutions. Allocation has been a contentious issue for years and we need to continue to work on this. To make it perfectly clear I totally support a resident over commercial harvest priority policy. As an avid fly fisherman and camper public access to public resources is a very important issue to me. Time and time again we see the needs of BC residents placed on the back burner while partisan politics and business interests take priority over the needs of the people. I do not foresee any meaningful changes to this issue if the BC Liberals were to be elected again. We need to ensure government allocates wildlife in a manner that is more equitable for residents while at the same time practicing informed decision making. These issues have become rife with partisan politics and I feel it is important for government to include the public in a transparent manner when it comes to access to public resources. Dealing with these issues starts with meaningful inclusion in the decision-making process in a manner that is transparent to the public and I am of the opinion that a properly designed consultation process that meets the needs of the public would be a key first step in addressing the issues.  BC has a world-class park system that is the envy of the world.  Our success has brought increasing demand, with more than 23 million visits each year. Today’s BC Liberals believe that stewardship of the land and ensuring our natural environment’s well-being through strengthened conservation is a core responsibility of government. So we’re investing $149 million for parks and environmental protection.  This includes adding additional funding for the BC Parks Future Strategy to add 1,900 new campsites to help meet growing demand, new park rangers who will focus on protecting and preserving the back-country and new programs to promote and protect the environment.
Our wildlife management principles are conservation first, followed by First Nations’ harvest, and then hunting. Resident hunters are given a higher priority than non-residents, meaning that the share that goes to residents is considerably greater than the share that goes to non-residents.