July 18, 2019, VICTORIA – On June 16th, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce, along with the BC Chamber and
10 Chambers from the North, Okanagan, and Kootenays, met with Minister Doug Donaldson in Victoria to discuss
concerns related to the Federal Species at Risk Act’s Section 11 Mountain Caribou Recovery Plan.
Jana Thompson from the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce attended, through support of City of Revelstoke Economic Development, to ensure specific concerns from Revelstoke and our region were discussed.
Conversations included the request for an outline of the governments consultation plan with emphasis on ensuring it will include a robust stakeholder engagement process, the request for the appointment of a regional government representative for Revelstoke and confirmation that individual herd conservation and recovery plans will be on an individual herd by herd basis.
“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to address the concerns of our community members and business stakeholders in a very frank and open conversation with Minister Donaldson and his team. It is critical to have a comprehensive engagement and consultation strategy implemented for not only woodland caribou, but any species at risk concerns in our region. Overall, we were pleased to have our questions or concerns personally addressed and our coalition left the meeting feeling very optimistic that meaningful action will be taken.”
Per our BC Chamber adopted policies on the matter, our consortium addressed:
• The need for more fulsome (and broad) engagement moving forward with Indigenous nations, local
governments, industry and communities
• The necessity of substantial and timely socio-economic impact assessments in areas that may be affected
by any management measures intended to help the caribou recover
Our messages and community concerns were received by the Minister, and we are optimistic that meaningful action will be taken in the weeks and months ahead to address these above concerns. The Minister stated he appreciates that chambers remain committed “support” organizations on the ground, when it comes to enabling deeper consultations moving forward.
“Our network will continue to focus on strategies that protect both our iconic caribou and thriving local economies and communities,” says Val Litwin, CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “The BC Chamber and our member chambers look forward to continuing to work with the Province on this important file.”
Chambers in attendance included: Dawson Creek, Revelstoke, Fort Nelson, Chetwynd, Sicamous, Prince George, Fort St. John, Tumbler Ridge. (Attending remotely were: Nakusp, Kelowna & Mackenzie)