Letter: Not enough being done to stop invasive mussels

The only acceptable system for protecting our province is stopping and inspecting 100 per cent of boats before they enter our province.

Open letter to Environment Minister Mary Polak:

Thank you for your response to my letter this past summer.

In your reply, you outlined what the Province of B.C. is doing to protect us from an infestation of zebra and quagga mussels. None of this was new information, and all together, it is still not enough. You did recognize that “there is still work to be done.” I couldn’t agree more. With the expertise gained from a year of full-time research on this issue, I again urge you to act immediately and decisively.

Last week, news broke out of Manitoba that after only two years, Lake Winnipeg is already seeing an infestation of epic proportions. In the words of University of Winnipeg professor Dr. Eva Pip, as reported by Global News, “The problem is irreversible and in fact it’s a catastrophe, it’s a disaster. It’s very sad because all we have to look forward to now in Lake Winnipeg is a complete and eventual collapse of our ecosystem.” This is not unexpected news, but still it is an urgent reminder of the danger that B.C. faces.

In your letter, you spoke of a “perimeter defence” strategy to protect all of Western Canada and the Columbia Basin. The wisdom of this plan is clear, but it is still very far from completion.

Saskatchewan is doing practically nothing. Alberta has mandatory inspections at their Eastern border, but those inspections only run during regular working hours. A very real scenario still exists where a contaminated boat could cross through Alberta after the inspectors have gone home for the day, slip past one of B.C.’s “roving” teams, and launch in our waters. Until such time as this perimeter defence is fully in place, you must have an unbroken wall at our border.

Whether you are coordinating with other jurisdictions or not, a system of rendezvousing with potentially infested boats after they have entered B.C. is illogical and irresponsible. The only acceptable system for protecting our province is stopping and inspecting 100 per cent of boats before they enter our province.

When can we expect to see that in place?

Brynne Morrice, Vernon

Just Posted

Growing Okanagan tech sector hailed in new report

Study shows sector employees 12, 474 workers and is worth $1.67 billion to regional economy

Okanagan Sun tackle Chilliwack Saturday in BCFC action

The Sun will be looking for revenge at home after Corn Huskers beat them 22-18 earlier in season

Okanagan tech industry booming, contributes over $1.6 billion to regional economy

New study shows Okanagan tech sector contributes over $1.6 billion to regional economy

Kelowna church closes and makes room for Starbright

Starbright Children’s Development Centre meeting need for space with major real estate purchase

Black Mountain / sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park starts to take shape

Student volunteers from three local schools work on trail building project

Pavement Patty slows drivers near Rutland Elementary

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read