Local involvement ensure public interest is served

Local MLA Norm Macdonald takes about land in British Columbia.

One of the biggest issues that I am hearing about this week is the need for local involvement in decision making on the land base.

There have been a number of decisions made recently by government where local people have felt that they were either not consulted or their expressed views were ignored.

But this is not a particularly recent turn of events.  Over the last 11 years, many specific legislative steps have been taken to remove previous requirements for local participation in decision making.

In 2003, the BC Liberals passed legislation called the Significant Projects Streamlining Act which allows projects to be designated as provincially significant and thus override local jurisdiction which might hamper development.

Bill 30, also known as the Ashlu River bill, removed the power of local governments to make decisions on whether or not private power river-diversion projects should go ahead on public lands.

An amendment to the Local Government Act has now allowed the Provincial government to create a Mountain Resort Municipality where there are no residents and appoint a mayor and council that may never face election.

Community land use planning groups which have developed Integrated Resource Plans have been disbanded and the need for community consultation on land use has been eliminated.

These are only a few examples of the ways that this government has taken you out of the decision-making process.  And we’ve seen that the quality of decisions being made has been lessened as local wisdom has been ignored.

I believe that we need to build resiliency in rural communities and that means that local residents must have a say on how our land base is used.  I believe that those who rely on the land base for employment, recreation and the protection of environmental values will make the best decisions.

And that local involvement ensures that the public interest is always at the forefront of policy decisions, something that has been lacking for too long in British Columbia.

Just Posted

Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO visit Golden

MP Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO Derek Nighbor toured LP Mill.

New massage clinic in Golden

A new massage clinic opened in Golden to help ease those aches and pains.

Hockey commentator gets his start

Lukas Pfisterer is just 12-years-old, but already making his mark as a commentator.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read