I am writing to clarify a few pieces from an article that ran April 3, 2015 (Cosens Bay Road concerns kicked into high gear).
The boundaries of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, like those of most of our class A parks, are described in legislation. Boundaries when described in legislation are not made by cabinet. The decision to amend legislated park boundaries requires a vote by all members of the Legislature.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) is currently preparing its stage two application for Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, following the cabinet-approved provincial protected area boundary adjustment policy, procedures and guidelines.
Consultations with First Nations, stakeholders and the public are all part of the rigorous process set out for proponents seeking a park boundary adjustment.
MoTI, as the proponent for the proposed boundary amendment, hosted an open house last summer to obtain input on the proposal, and the public will have additional opportunities to provide feedback in an upcoming 45-day comment period.
When the stage two application is submitted, it will be reviewed by BC Parks staff and forwarded to me for my consideration. If I support the boundary adjustment application, I will make a recommendation to cabinet and, if supported by cabinet, an amendment to the Protected Areas of B.C. Act will be prepared for the consideration and vote of all members of the Legislature.
The impact on the park, the feasibility of alternative alignments that avoid the park, and the environmental and socio-economic impacts are all factors that are considered when determining whether or not to make a boundary adjustment.
Since 2004, just 0.027 per cent (3,827 hectares) of the 14 million hectares in the provincial protected areas system has been affected by boundary adjustments. During the same period, more than 3.3 million hectares were added.
Mary Polak, environment minister