Mr. Speaker, community leaders throughout my riding are alarmed by the lack of genuine consultation around caribou and other closures.
The recent release of the province’s draft winter motorized recreation management plan in South Peace is a direct result of the caribou partnership agreement signed by the current Liberal government in 2020.
The B.C. Snowmobile Federation, the Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery, and the municipality of Chetwynd have come out strongly against this proposed plan. It became clear that their recommendations to maintain public access to vitally important areas while conserving caribou habitat were flatly ignored. What did the Liberals do with all this sound advice from outdoor experts? They threw it out the window.
It is time for the government to recognize its failings with arbitrary land and marine closures. It must ensure decisions made are based on science and sound advice from our communities. These decisions will have a direct impact on the local economy and the way of life. It looks like more closures are on the way with 30 by 30 and other initiatives supported blindly by the government.
It is time for the government to stop ramming through its agenda and start listening.