Yesterday the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson accompanied by Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development in British Columbia Doug Donaldson, were in Lillooet, B.C. to participate in a helicopter fly-over assessment of the Big Bar Landslide on the Fraser River. While in Lillooet the Ministers met with key specialists working on the slide and impacted First Nations. The focus was on what next steps could be taken to best manage the impacts of this natural disaster on Fraser salmon runs.
The Seymour River is home to many fish runs and is an integral part of the landscape of North Vancouver and the broader Vancouver area ecosystem. The rockslide that occurred in 2014 significantly impacted the waterway, the salmon run and the surrounding area. Together with Indigenous communities, local governments and non-governmental organizations including the Seymour Salmonid Society, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been working to restore and conserve the Seymour River habitat.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and British Columbia’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development in British Columbia, the Honourable Doug Donaldson along with Member of Parliament for Mission - Matsqui - Fraser Canyon, Jati Sidhu, visited the Big Bar Landslide’s integrated Incident Command Post at the Lillooet Fire Zone and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Lillooet Field Office in B.C.
North Vancouver, British Columbia – The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, will attend a community event to celebrate Seymour River restoration activities and will deliver remarks highlighting the new Fisheries Act that supports fish stock rebuilding and restores lost protections for waterways and fish habitat.
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, will visit at the Incident Command Post for the Big Bar Landslide. The Minister will meet with Incident Commanders, regional First Nation representatives, and technical experts, and participate in a helicopter overflight tour of the landside area.
The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC) plays a critical role in collecting, processing and marketing freshwater fish on behalf of close to 1,600 harvesters, many from Indigenous communities that depend on this vital service.
There is no relationship more important to the Government of Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. Our government is committed to advancing a renewed relationship with Indigenous communities, based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. As part of this commitment, we are working to modernize and strengthen nation-to-nation, government-to-government structures, and to support a more collaborative approach to fisheries management by the Government of Canada and Indigenous Peoples.
Healthy wild fish stocks are vital to the economic prosperity and social fabric of British Columbia’s coastal communities. Wild Pacific salmon, in particular, are intrinsically linked to the identity of British Columbians and are fundamental to the culture of many Indigenous communities.
Officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Province of British Columbia as well as a representative from the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance will to provide further updates and answer questions regarding a significant rock slide that occurred upstream of a narrow portion of the Fraser River near Big Bar.