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

Trans-Canada closed east of Golden

An update will be provided at 8:30 a.m.

Rob Morrison sworn in as Kootenay-Columbia MP

Parliament set to reconvene on Thursday with election of House Speaker, Throne Speech

LETTER: Reflections on democracy and community from former Green party candidate

Abra Brynne ran in the 2019 federal election to be Kootenay-Columbia’s MP

Basin economic snapshot shows Kootenay a mixed bag

State of the Basin report shows economic recovery from recession a slow go

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

B.C. patients wait 41% longer than national average to see a walk-in doctor: Medimap

The longest wait time was found in Sidney, B.C., where patients waited an average of 180 minutes

Most Read