Consultation process for marine conservation area on Vancouver Island continues after five years

MP says government could be doing more to move the process along in a timely manner

The consultation process for the establishment of a national marine conservation area reserve in the southern Straight of Georgia, which encompasses a portion of the Salish Sea, is still ongoing.

RELATED: Takaya and the Salish Sea

The process, which involves 19 First Nations that may be implicated in the proposal as well as environmental organizations, industry and other stakeholders, began in 2013.

According to Victoria MP Murray Rankin, there are legitimate reasons as to why this process has taken over five years.

“It takes time to properly consult with First Nations,” he told Oak Bay News. “That being said, the federal government could be putting more resources into this project to move it along in a more timely manner.”

According to the federal government, the consultation process has been accelerated following a budget increase in 2016. Budget 2016 invested $42.4 million over five years to continue the work to create national parks and marine conservation areas, including advancing the proposal for the southern Strait of Georgia. Budget 2018 reiterated the commitment to expand the network of protected areas in Canada.

Audrey Champagne, a Parks Canada spokesperson, said the B.C. and federal governments are “committed to taking the necessary time to ensure meaningful consultation and engagement on the proposal,” adding that this project supports Canada in meeting its international commitments for biodiversity, sustainable development and climate change.

However, Parks Canada does not have a firm deadline on when the consultation process will be concluded. And once a determination on feasibility is made, the necessary establishment agreements will still need to be negotiated.

Home to more than 3,000 species, the Strait of Georgia marine region is an iconic example of Canada’s critical marine environment, according to the federal government. It hosts the world’s largest octopus, 100-year-old rockfish, vast schools of herring and salmon, millions of birds, as well as seals and sea lions, dolphins and whales.

Both Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke MP Randall Garrison and Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor have held town halls promoting the creation of a marine conservation area reserve in the Southern Strait of Georgia over the past year.

READ MORE: Saanich MP calls for marine conservation reserve

READ MORE: MP calls for marine conservation area

“The Liberal government must take meaningful action to protect the coastal ecosystems that our cultures and economies rely on,” said Garrison at a town hall he hosted in May 2018. “So far, the Liberals have been all talk and their actions fall short.”

– With files from Saanich News staff


 

flavio.nienow@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Chemainus Fun Run participants spice up their lives

Inaugural Pumpkin Spice event adds a dash of excitement to sunny November day

Who was Chris Bloomfield, the Mill Bay man shot by police?

A troubled man with a voracious appetite for illicit drugs and a non-conventional lifestyle

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

B.C. on track to see same overdose death toll as last year: Coroner

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Most Read