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Minister Wilkinson, and BC Minister Donaldson meet with First Nation leadership and participate in site visit at Big Bar Landslide in Lillooet, B.C.

Press Release

July 9, 2019

Lillooet, British Columbia —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.

This site visit was a first-hand opportunity to be fully briefed on the complexities and site safety issues of the landslide and  to meet with regional First Nation leadership, as well as the multiple federal and provincial agency operational and technical experts who are handling the collaborative  response.

A technical briefing on the multiple aspects of the slide response operation, including, geotechnical, safety, and salmon, provided by federal, provincial and external experts. They then boarded a helicopter for an overflight of the area effected by the slide. This area is remote, with steep canyon slopes, and not accessible by public roads, therefore a flyover is the most accurate means of assessing the broad impacts on the River.  From this tour, Minister Wilkinson along with the accompanying group was able to observe the magnitude of this slide in a narrow section of river, and the current high water and debris conditions. This understanding will provide unique insight into the decision making process involved in determining responsive actions to this landslide in the Fraser.

The Ministers and MP Sidhu  also met with regional First Nations, who have been impacted by the slide, which was held in the P’egp’ig’lha Community Centre, and hosted by T’it’q’et Community Chief Courteney Adolph-Jones. This provided an opportunity to meaningfully engage with the historic stewards of this region on determining next steps.

Minister Wilkinson also had the opportunity to sit down with Fisheries and Oceans Canada field staff who work out of the Lillooet Detachment, including the area fishery officers and the Salmon resource staff.

Minister Wilkinson   reaffirmed his commitment to  ensure that all necessary actions are taken to minimize the impact this may have on salmon stocks, the more than 50 First Nations upriver from this slide that rely on salmon as a food source, and to the Lillooet and District communities.

Contacts

Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Tel: 613-314-4591
[email protected]c.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
[email protected]

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