Mussels focus of session

Local politicians will talk about invasive mussels at the UBCM convention

Community Development Minister Peter Fassbender will get an earful about mussels.

Juliette Cunningham, a Regional District of North Okanagan director, says the need to keep zebra and quagga mussels out of local lakes will be a priority during the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

“Water is so important,” she said of the scheduled meeting between Fassbender and the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

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.

The provincial government has mobile stations at the borders looking for boats with possible infestations, but OBWB has requested permanent monitoring stations.

“We’re not giving up that fight,” said Cunningham.

Heading to Vancouver

North Okanagan politicians are making their way to to the coast for an annual gathering of civic leaders.

The Regional District of North Okanagan and all five municipalities will have representatives at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, which runs from Monday to Friday in Vancouver.

“I hope everyone takes advantage of what goes on there,” said Rick Fairbairn, RDNO chairperson, of the networking with other municipal officials and discussing issues to communities across the province.

“I am looking forward to meeting the (provincial) cabinet ministers on some of the questions and concerns we have.”