Letter: Government foot-dragging best ally of invasive species

In advance of the October federal election, contact your local MPs and let them know that urgent action is required.

To the editor:

Re: Federal inaction on invasive mussels

I am alarmed at the foot dragging over the issue of zebra and quagga mussels entering the Okanagan and other B.C. interior watersheds. The threat is imminent and the damaging impacts are well known. These mussels multiply rapidly and there is no known way of getting rid of them. They contaminate beaches, sandy bottoms and infrastructure such as storm drains and intake pipes. They have steadily advanced westward from the Great Lakes, especially in the US.

Our federal government has clear authority and responsibility to stop this invasion at US points of entry. Yet they have ignored the problem for years and only became involved when local authorities such as the Okanagan Basin Water Board screamed loudly and persistently.

The current federal plan is to slowly engage and train Canadian Border Service Agency personnel to actually inspect boats as they enter Canada. This might happen by mid-summer but don’t hold your breath. CBSA, like most other federal agencies, is in cut back mode. This invariably means reductions in front line staff. Without adequate numbers of inspectors how can they carry out these necessary inspections?

In my professional career I worked to combat invasions of non-indigenous pest. From that I recognize that immediate comprehensive actions are needed when dealing with invasives. Once established, the cost to get rid of them is astronomically higher than preventing the invasion in the first place. Without costly remedial action there will be costly damage to the tourism industry, infrastructure and the environment.

Prevention by interception requires the full engagement of our federal government. They must take the lead and push our provincial government to participate in accordance with their responsibilities. By not taking the lead they, in effect, let others off the hook.

What can you do? Get informed and get involved at http://www.protectourfreshwater.ca/. In advance of the October federal election, contact your local MPs and let them know that urgent action is required. Foot-dragging is not acceptable. Contact the candidates for the other parties and find out what they will do. Then consider who you will vote for in October.

Steve Burke, West Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Most Read