New Democrats celebrate B.C. Rivers Day
Sept. 30, 2012 - Victoria – New Democrats are joining British Columbians across the province to celebrate Rivers Day and the importance of the fresh water resources B.C. is blessed to have.
“Some of B.C.'s most celebrated rivers face challenges that the Liberal government must address to keep these rivers healthy and supportive of our province's unique and vast diversity of fish, wildlife and plant species,” said New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming.
“Given the need to take action, the Liberal government’s continued inaction is troubling. We heard unwelcome news from the B.C. environment minister at this week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting that the B.C. Liberals will not deliver on their 2008 promise to modernize the century-old Water Act to more effectively protect watersheds and surface and groundwater anytime soon.”
Each year the Outdoor Recreation Council releases a list of B.C.'s most endangered rivers. For years this list has included the Kettle River, running through B.C.’s southern interior, which continues to see declining stream flows.
New Democrats are also concerned about the “Sacred Headwaters” that nurtures the source of three salmon-bearing rivers, the Skeena, Nass and Stikine. The Sacred Headwaters topped this year's endangered rivers list because the clock is ticking on a December 2012 moratorium on coal-bed methane drilling in the region. Adrian Dix and the B.C. New Democrats want to see this critical watershed protected.
“British Columbians value their rivers and the jobs and economic activity supported by them, including the energy, fishing, agriculture and tourism sectors that make our communities sustainable. Witness the overwhelming participation in the Enbridge process, with British Columbians stating their concern and opposition," said Fleming. "B.C. needs to do more to protect our rivers and the ecosystems they support, especially in light of climate change."
B.C. Rivers Day is a province-wide event, held every year on the last Sunday in September. Established in 1980 and coordinated by the Outdoor Recreation Council, this event has spread worldwide and is now celebrated in more than 30 countries.
Media Contact: Jennifer Jones 250-889-6308