To the Editor,
Re: Recent coverage of the beaver ponds and major proposed development in our community.
A kind reminder to San Group, mayor, council, and former mayors/politicians, the handling of live wildlife (its transportation and capturing), as well as the protection of beaver dams are concerns covered by statute in the Wildlife Act.
The protection of birds, their nests and eggs is also addressed under the same. The protection of wetlands is specifically noted under relatively new legislation titled the Water Sustainability Act, now in force. Other federal statutes apply to the conservation and protection of at risk and endangered species.
A constructive community debate on the relative merits of major development must include accurate information about what can and cannot be done under current provincial statutes. Regardless of the legitimacy of the proposed development (for it or against it), nothing should proceed without the requisite authorizations (provincial, municipal, and federal, if any). Council’s approach to potential development approval and sanctioning must also be consistent with all applicable provincial and federal statutes.
(Editor’s note: Dr. Bryce J. Casavant is a former BC Conservation Officer and resident of Port Alberni with a PhD in Social Sciences.)