Local reaction after provincial government cancels meeting about caribou recovery efforts

Taylor MacIntyre
12/05/2018

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A delegation from the provincial government has cancelled their attendance for a previously scheduled Special Board Meeting of the PRRD.
The meeting was to discuss a potential Caribou Recovery Program and to go over plans that could impact the area. 
Now, even more questions remain, but local residents and regional groups are staying focused on the fight. 
"Of course we're extremely disappointed that they chose to not to come to anywhere in the Peace Region to meet with any of our officials," says Executive Director, Dawson Creek & District Chamber of Commerce, Kathleen Connolly. "It's really disappointing and only furthers to enforce our position that they're refusing to consult with people in the region."
Connolly says she's heard that the provincial government is starting to feel the pressure from the Northeast. 
She adds that she feels they're not necessarily prepared to have these conversations with residents and local governments, particularly in an open format.
"We've seen a lot of support from MLA Bernier and MLA Davies, as well as MP Bob Zimmer, in regards to supporting the concerns of residents of the Northeast. So, I think it's really important for people to reach out to their MLAs and express their concerns." Connolly continues, "As well, the 'Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery' group have started a petition. We're at somewhere around 14,000 signatures; that petition will be presented to the provincial government at some point."
Connolly adds that a gofundme page has been created, as groups have started to talk about legal options and potential next steps in a possible lawsuit. 
"I think it's just really important that people educate themselves, understand what the impacts to our region, community, even province could be and then start reaching out either through the Facebook petition or to their local government and really start sharing those stories and concerns."
The PRRD has released a statement, saying that the province is planning to reschedule - quote - 'as soon as possible to share information with the board and the public about caribou recovery efforts in the region.'
In the meantime, the BC government has said they will be releasing a public information bulletin to update the PRRD and its residents.

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