Clark confident in Shuswap Liberal, Kyllo

Premier confident in Greg Kyllo, despite his past involvement in development that led to destruction of sensitive fish habitat

  • May. 1, 2013 1:00 p.m.

Lachlan Labere

Black Press

Premier Christy Clark’s confidence remains high in Liberal Shuswap candidate Greg Kyllo, despite his past involvement in a development that led to the destruction of sensitive fish habitat.

Clark is aware of a 2010 court decision against the developers of Old Town Bay for the alteration of fish habitat, used recently by the candidate’s critics, and opponents, as ammunition against him.

Clark said Kyllo isn’t one who makes excuses, and has since put $275,000 to remediate the issue.

She added that while the case was well known in Sicamous, residents still elected Kyllo to municipal council with a sizeable majority.

“Misunderstandings and mistakes happen. We are defined by how we deal with them. And taking responsibility, not making excuses, is who Greg Kyllo is.”

Kyllo agreed the damage that occurred in 2007 resulted from a misunderstanding of federal and provincial regulations, including the riparian area regulation, which was enacted in the Fish Protection Act in 2004.

“There was some misunderstanding with respect to the regulations that were in place, with DFO and what their regulations were. It was also the same time the new riparian area regulation came out from the provincial government,” he said.

“There was a lot of confusion around that. Unfortunately, some decisions were made that were not in line with the riparian area regulation, and some logging occurred in areas that were deemed to be sensitive fish habitat.”

Kyllo says $300,000 has since been spent on restoring the damaged area, and that it continues to be monitored.

Simply chalking it up to a mistake, however, isn’t enough for Shuswap Environmental Action Society president Jim Cooperman, who views the past infraction as a hit to both Kyllo’s credibility, as well as the Liberals.

“I think it’s appalling that the B.C. Liberal Party would allow a candidate to run with a track record like Mr. Kyllo’s, that involved a blatant disregard of federal laws and resulted in severe damage to fish habitat,” said Cooperman.