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

Osoyoos woman named to Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada

Watermark Beach Resort general manager and vice-president of business development honoured

South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Service grand opening

Opening of new facility in Penticton takes place on Thursday, Nov. 23

Penticton Indian Band returns to the polls

The PIB is going to a byelection to fill empty seats on band council

Barker brings a mix of comedy and magic to Dream Café

Wes Barker is performing in Penticton on Nov. 24

Fintry Queen still looking for a home

Fintry Queen owner wants the tourist vessel in the Penticton Parks and Rec master plan discussions

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

Opioid prescriptions up across Canada: report

The report shows the number of opioid prescriptions rose by almost seven per cent, while daily doses on average dropped

Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci warns that Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Health Canada hints at government’s plans for legal pot

Health warnings, plain covers for pot packs under proposed regulations

Washington governor tells BC don’t be ‘daunted’ by Trump

“I want to assure this assembly that no matter who is in the White House, it won’t affect Washington state’s relationship with Canada or British Columbia.”

Liberals look to ease concerns with housing strategy

Liberals say they look to ease affordability concerns with release of their housing strategy

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

Most Read