Letters: Polak responds to MLA’s criticism

In response to a June 17th column in the Invermere Valley Echo by Norm Macdonald.

Dear Editor:

 

Re: In response to a June 17th column in the Invermere Valley Echo by Norm Macdonald.

No invasive zebra or quagga mussels have ever been found in British Columbia waters, and we are hard at work ensuring it stays that way.

Specialized mussel detection teams are now on B.C. roads as part of our enhanced mussel early detection and rapid response program. Conservation officers with mobile decontamination units are performing boat and trailer inspections, such as a roadside check held in Midway on June 9th.

Conservation officers are trained to identify mussel-infested boats, and can decontaminate boats entering B.C. if necessary. The teams also respond to boats identified as a potential concern by the Canada Border Services Agency or U.S. partner agencies.

We are working with partner agencies in the U.S., as well as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, to ensure information is quickly exchanged when any concerns of mussel-infested boats arise. Our mobile units are able to move between border locations, and focus on high-traffic routes.

This is about stopping and ensuring boats are free of mussels before they enter B.C. waterways.

Education and outreach activities, including the “Clean, Drain, Dry” program, continue to help everyone do their part to keep B.C. invasive mussel free.

We are continuously working to strengthen our actions against invasive mussels. I look forward to sharing a significant update to our mussel defence program in the coming weeks.

 

Mary Polak

Minister of Environment

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