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Premier says help on the way for Okanagan mussel fight

FILE PHOTO
February 19, 2016 - 1:00 PM

KELOWNA - Premier Christy Clark hinted yesterday at more help in the provincial budget for the Okanagan in fighting invasive mussels.

Clark told the Kelowna Chamber the “final touches” were being put on a new plan in response to a query by president Ken Carmichael.

“Last year we had roving patrols and we learned a lot. It takes in all what we learned last year. I ask that you stay tuned on this one. We should be ready for the new boating season, when it comes,” Clark said.

That’s music to the ears of Okanagan Basin Water Board chairman Doug Findlater, that is if the new plan gives them the eight fixed inspection stations they’ve been asking for.

“That’s what we want. None of this roaming hit and miss stuff we’ve had in the past,” Findlater says. “And we’d sure like to see this soon. There’s a lot of boats about to move across the country."

The water board has provided reams of information to the environment ministry, Findlater adds, in a bid to stop an invasive species most believe would be ruinous to the Okanagan Valley lake ecosystem and economy should it become established.

“They know what we want,” he says.

Findlater applauds the chamber for pressing the issue with the provincial government and says the best clue they have on what the province intends was a glimpse water board staff got of an environment ministry plan that included the fixed stations.

“If the plan’s like that, then we’re happy,” Findlater said. “It’s not like we’re Saskatchewan or Alberta with a country road every few miles. There’s only so many roads into the province.”

The plan included options for helping fund the program which could include some kind of user-pay system, Findlater says.

For more Invasive Mussel stories click here.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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