Premier Clark, I’m a B.C.-based filmmaker, born and raised here. Last summer, I made a short film about the imminent threat that zebra and quagga mussels pose to our province. At the time, I assumed that the government of B.C. must simply be unaware of this threat. I hoped that my film would help change this.
You can watch the five-minute film at www.protectourfreshwater.ca.
I know now that your government is aware. However, for some reason, you have dedicated a mere $1.3 million, spread out over three years, to combat a problem that has cost more than $6 billion in North America so far.
Your current action plan is entitled, Early detection and rapid response. This is based on a glaring falsehood. In 25 years, in hundreds of lakes and rivers across North America, it has been proven again and again that eradication does not exist. Zebra and quagga mussels, once in a lake or river, cannot be stopped. Knowing this, what exactly are you planning to rapidly respond with?
Prevention is the only option. Period. Since all it takes is one boat, The only way to protect our province is to stop and inspect every single boat that crosses our borders.
You have said that you will continue to review the current program of 3 roving inspection teams and see if more action is needed. Time is not a luxury we have. Anytime this summer or next, a boat could easily slip past your very weak border defense and launch in our waters. Then, your only option will be to sit back and watch as the mussels inevitably spread to every lake and river in B.C. The damage will be catastrophic, the effects permanent.
You have the power and the resources to prevent this. The people of B.C. are calling for action. This is an emergency and should be treated as such. Why do you delay? Why are you not doing the absolute maximum to protect our province?
Is B.C. not worth it to you?