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

Workshops, networking events designed for Shuswap women entrepreneurs on the way

Tsuts’weye project holds successful roundtables where valuable information gathered

‘She was awesome’: Malakwa baker leaves U.S. holiday show

‘There are Christmas miracles, look at me’

Salmon Arm ranked 7th best place to work in B.C. for 2020

Categories reflecting quality of life influence ranking

School District #83 board approves pay increase for trustees

Decision reflects policy, changes in BC Consumer Price Index

South Shuswap health clinic welcomes first doctor

Dr. Jack Beech to do Saturday walk-in clinic at Copper Island Health and Wellness Centre.

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

Weak link in Sagmoen trial, defence says

Counsel questions whether search warrant police executed was obtained on reasonable grounds

Salmon Arm Work BC office hosts grand reopening

Services available at the office will remain similar to past offerings

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Carriageworks Restorations come together to care for car

North Okanagan MP says throne speech lacked specifics

‘Trudeau government presented a vague agenda,’: MP Mel Arnold

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Independent Investigations Office seeks witnesses following arrest in Penticton

The male resisted arrest at approximately 8:40 a.m. and sustained a head injury

Most Read