Local involvement ensures public interest is served

One of the biggest issues that I am hearing about this week is the need for local involvement in decision making on the land base.

MLA Report/By Norm Macdonald

One of the biggest issues that I am hearing about this week is the need for local involvement in decision making on the land base.

There have been a number of decisions made recently by government where local people have felt that they were either not consulted or their expressed views were ignored.

But this is not a particularly recent turn of events. Over the last 11 years, many specific legislative steps have been taken to remove previous requirements for local participation in decision making.

In 2003, the BC Liberals passed legislation called the Significant Projects Streamlining Act which allows projects to be designated as provincially significant and thus override local jurisdiction which might hamper development.

Bill 30, also known as the Ashlu River bill, removed the power of local governments to make decisions on whether or not private power river-diversion projects should go ahead on public lands.

An amendment to the Local Government Act has now allowed the provincial government to create a Mountain Resort Municipality where there are no residents and appoint a mayor and council that may never face election.

Community land use planning groups which have developed Integrated Resource Plans have been disbanded and the need for community consultation on land use has been eliminated.

These are only a few examples of the ways that this government has taken you out of the decision-making process. And we’ve seen that the quality of decisions being made has been lessened as local wisdom has been ignored.

I believe that we need to build resiliency in rural communities and that means that local residents must have a say on how our land base is used. I believe that those who rely on the land base for employment, recreation and the protection of environmental values will make the best decisions.

And that local involvement ensures that the public interest is always at the forefront of policy decisions, something that has been lacking for too long in British Columbia.

***

Norm Macdonald is the MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke

 

 

Just Posted

Ministry denies request for air quality monitoring in Revelstoke

Revelstoke City Council’s request that an air quality monitoring system be re-established… Continue reading

City of Revelstoke and CSRD reach fire protection agreement

A new fire protection agreement has been negotiated between the City of… Continue reading

Cost to Revelstoke taxpayers as well as developers affected by proposed bylaw

If the tabled Development Cost Charge bylaw is passed sewer user costs will increase dramatically

Sinatra tribute band coming to Revelstoke Golf and Country Club

Toronto-based tenor Dan Lauzon has had a long and illustrious career as… Continue reading

Okanagan’s smoke filled skies toxic to pets

Pet owners should take extra precautions with pets until smoke dissipates

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Update Aug. 19 1:25 p.m. A majority of air support is still… Continue reading

Crews continue extinguish Snowy Mountain Wildfire

The 13,359 hectare wildfire is classified as held

Smoky skies means stay inside, according to Interior Health

The air quality in the Okanagan is considered a high risk

Flights from Kelowna International Airport affected by wildfire smoke

Passengers are being asked to check their flight’s status before arriving

Work continues on Monashee Complex wildfires

Crews will be assisted by helicopters if flying conditions improve

Most Read