Ottawa urged to join mussels fight

Frustration is building as the potential arrival of invasive mussels could occur any time.

Local governments, First Nations and agencies gathered in Vernon Wednesday to discuss the looming threat of zebra and quagga mussels if they show up in Okanagan-Shuswap lakes.

“A lot more needs to be done. There’s a lot of concern about the risk,” said Paul Demenok, Columbia-Shuswap regional District director.

The mussels are indigenous to Europe and since arriving in North America, they have spread across the continent, clogging water intake pipes and boat motors. They also deplete food sources for fish, produce toxins that contaminate drinking water and razor-sharp shells spread across beaches.

“It could be the biggest economic and environmental impact this area ever sees,” said Mel Arnold, North Okanagan-Shuswap Conservative MP, who hosted Wednesday’s meeting.

“We discussed the possible threats and what can be done by working together.

Arnold says more public education is needed to prevent the spread of the mussels, but the federal Liberal government also needs to increase funding.

“This will be one of the things I’m driving for.”

Dan Albas, Conservative MP for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, says there is a need for roles to be clarified when it comes to taking action.

“There are different layers at all levels of government,” he said.

But Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick insists Ottawa needs to ramp up its activities.

“There is a need for more funding and federal co-ordination,” he said.

That view is supported by Anna Warwick Sears, Okanagan Basin Water Board executive director.

“There needs to be matching dollars for what B.C. and Alberta do,” she said.

Just Posted

Kelowna city council approves big fire department project in 2018 budget

Upgrade of Glemore fire hall to a full-staffed facility will include hiring 12 more firefighters

Sagmoen case adjourned, again

Small, yet mighty, rally again on Vernon courthouse steps

Accident in Lake Country

Thursday morning commute slow on Highway 97 following MVI

Keeping pets safe at Christmas

This time of year presents a lot of possible health hazards for our pets

West Kelowna to stick with regional transportation planning

City council votes to rescind its move to leave regional planning body

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Bear spray used in tenant dispute

Salmon Arm RCMP responding to Tappen home invasion find occupants sprayed in repllent

Home services, rental rates top concerns: B.C. seniors’ watchdog

Premier John Horgan pledges action on rental housing in 2018

‘Game-changing’ B.C.-born technology tests brain vital signs

B.C. neuroscientist describes the tech as ‘the world’s first objective physiological yard stick for brain function’

5-year anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting

When just saying ‘I’m from Newtown’ can be a cross to bear

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Anderson extends invitation to Liberal voters

Interim B.C. Conservative party leader invites “disenfranchised Liberal voters” to join his party

Most Read