VICTORIA— This Earth Day New Democrat environment spokesperson Spencer Chandra Herbert urged the B.C. Liberal government to reopen talks to open a national park in the Okanagan Similkameen region.
“There is tremendous local support for the jobs and opportunities that a national park would bring to the region,” said Chandra Herbert. “It’s time for the B.C. Liberal government to stop throwing up barriers to this economic development opportunity.”
The Okanagan Similkameen is home to more than 60 federally listed endangered species and is a unique landscape that is not protected by any national park in Canada.
“The Okanagan Similkameen is a globally significant ecosystem that is home to many of Canada’s most endangered species. Protecting this area is key to maintaining British Columbia’s incredible biodiversity, while growing our economy.”
In question period today Chandra Herbert noted that support for a national park in the region cuts across party lines, with the all-party Finance Committee recommending talks be reopened.
“When you have almost 70 per cent of people in a region saying they want to explore an opportunity to both protect the environment and create jobs in their local communities, Christy Clark needs to stop throwing up barriers and get back to the table to re-start discussions,” said Chandra Herbert.
Chandra Herbert has visited the region and spoken with ranchers, tourism operators, vintners, First Nations, and local government who all support re-starting talks now.