It was standing-room only at the Gibraltar Room in Williams Lake.
A community engagement session on two draft agreements to conserve southern mountain caribou populations took place Monday evening.
Joining the conversation was Mayor of 100 Mile House, Mitch Campsall.
“This group has not been good at communicating and they’ve been very lousy at communicating, and then they wondered why the misinformation got out there because they weren’t communicating with anybody, let alone leaders of the communities,” he said.
“We’ve been fighting for a good four years just to get a meeting and finally they’re starting but to only have four weeks to get all the meetings done they kind of missed the boat.”
Campsall added that he is disappointed that 100 Mile is not included to host a community engagement session that is scheduled to continue in Prince George tonight, Mackenzie on Wednesday, and in Quesnel on Thursday.
“We don’t have a lot of trust in government,” he said.
“This meeting may give a little bit but I’ll tell you it doesn’t give you a lot of trust when it’s almost a last minute thought let’s see if we can get some communications going, but they need to communicate-I think that’s the biggest issue and I think they heard that tonight loud and clear.”
The Province is accepting feedback on the draft Section 11 Agreement that applies to Southern Mountain Caribou and the draft Partnership Agreement that applies to the Central Group of Southern Mountain Caribou until May 3, 2019.
Cariboo Regional District Area D Director Steve Forseth who attended Monday’s meeting in Williams Lake wrote on his blog Cariboo-Chilcotin Politics that he plans to ask his Regional District colleagues on Friday to send a joint letter to the provincial and federal governments to slow the process down so they get it right in understanding any socio-economic impacts to the CRD which could last as many as 30 years.
“This process deeply troubles me as it was totally done incorrectly, in my opinion, and in addition to the letter, I will be suggesting that Chair Wagner try to secure a meeting with Federal Environment/Climate Change Parliamentary Secretary Sean Fraser while she and Cariboo RD Directors John Massier, Al Richmond and Chad Mernett attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Convention in Quebec City from May 30th to June 2nd and enlisting the help of our local MPs,” he said.
Darcy Peel, director of the Caribou Recovery Program with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Operations declined an interview following the meeting and directed MyCaribooNow to contact the Ministry’s public affairs officer to arrange for an interview.