MLA Minute

Doug Clovechok, Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA

For weeks, I have heard loud and clear from my constituents in Columbia River-Revelstoke that the NDP’s proposed changes to the Land Act must be halted. 

My office has been contacted by local rod and gun clubs, backcountry users, tenure holders, tourism operators, water stewards, and concerned citizens. From the very beginning, my colleagues in BC United and I have relentlessly opposed these flawed and dangerous changes and worked diligently to inform the public of the impacts the proposed legislation could have. As a result of this work, and the outcry from people across the province, the NDP have backtracked on their plan — for now.  We know that the NDP plans to resume these changes at the next opportunity. 

In 2019, when the NDP implemented the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, they promised 17 times that this legislation would not provide a de-facto veto to First Nations, which falls in line with the directives set out by the Supreme Court of Canada for meaningful reconciliation. However, their words do not fit with their actions when it comes to the proposed changes to the Land Act. 

Despite the potential wide-ranging impacts on how Crown land could be used for mining, agriculture, forestry, and recreation, the NDP began a quiet consultation process without so much as a news release. Furthermore, they planned to introduce this legislation before the public commenting period ends on March 31. This was the most recent example of a long line of broken promises and secrecy that has led to the BC NDP being named the most secretive government in Canada.

Creating a de facto veto only serves to create division rather than unity among people. It’s important that we prevent the NDP’s hidden agenda from resurfacing after the next election. BC United is committed to providing a different approach that promotes reconciliation while leaving Crown land in the hands of the public. 

A Kevin Falcon-led BC United government will change the name of ‘Crown land’ to ‘public land’ to reflect the interests of our communities. We will end NDP secrecy by ensuring public consultations and transparent land management processes. Furthermore, we will set strict timelines and collaborate with First Nations to expedite permitting, ensuring responsible and prosperous land use. We have also committed to important initiatives such as our proposed Indigenous Loan Guarantee program that will create more opportunities for First Nations to participate in natural resource projects. 

BC United will continue to act in the best interests of all British Columbians and hold the government accountable for providing transparency to our communities. 

I want to hear from you about any concerns you have about this or any other issue. I read every email I receive. Please reach out to me at [email protected] or call my office in Kimberley at (250) 432-2300 or Revelstoke at (250) 805-0323.