'Dire Consequences' Province considers giving First Nations decision making authority over Crown lands
DAWSON CREEK -- The MLA for Peace River South is sounding the alarm over the BC Government’s decision to change the BC Land Act.
The NDP Government quietly announced online last week, they have opened public consultations to give First Nations jurisdictional decision making over Crown lands.
The BC Government said it is looking to amend the Land Act to incorporate agreements with Indigenous governing bodies.
Mike Bernier said the decision could have dire consequences on how all British Columbians are able to access and use public lands.
Over 90 percent of the land in BC, in some form is considered to be Crown land. Bernier said the decision could affect hunters and outdoor enthusiast across the Peace Region.
“You look at a lot of our grazing areas, you look at all of our mountains, look at all of our rivers, lakes. You look at every thing that we take for granted in the Peace Region. When we're exploring, enjoying the outdoors, most of that is Crown land,” said Bernier
Bernier said he has received a number of calls from companies who are concerned about their ability to operate successfully in the Peace Region. He said there could be a major impact on resources companies and the well paying jobs they bring to region.
Bernier said, “This is just one more layer of uncertainty of what it means to operate in British Columbia, to invest in British Columbia.”
“We're pushing back on these changes as a B.C. United caucus. The government should be making this decision in consultation with all British Columbians. The NDP Government is now pitting First Nations against non first nations, when in fact, we should all be working together for what's best for our region,” added Bernier.