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

Top 5 places to take your dog in Kelowna

Here are our top five places to take your furry friend

COSAR makes Kelowna Law Day debut

The search and rescue team was on scene as Girl Guides were arrested left and right

Battle of the concert bands in Lake Country

The annual Concert Band competition is held at Creekside Theatre April 24 to 26

Kelowna woman runs to beat hunger

Teri Kanner is collecting donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

Snoozed through the news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, the Capital News will feature popular stories from the week

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

VIDEO: 33 Oliver-area homes evacuated due to flooding

Flooding in the Sportsman Bowl area has swelled drastically over course of one week

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read