I was recently in Ottawa for the first in-person meeting of our Conservative caucus led by our new leader Erin O’Toole.
It was great to catch up with so many colleagues that I haven’t been able to see for months thanks to the Prime Minister shutting down regular sittings of Parliament in the spring and then proroguing Parliament until September 23.
I am looking forward to the coming weeks when our caucus will present our plan as a government in waiting to put hardworking Canadians first, lead our nation out of this crisis, and rebuild our great country.
While in Ottawa, I met with Richard Bragdon, our new Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, regarding the challenges facing recreational fishing in Canada today. I also spoke about support for our outdoor recreational community and the need to balance the sustainable use of natural resources, societal and economic needs, and environmental protections.
This is especially true in our region, which has seen both the provincial NDP government and the federal Liberal government ignore the concerns of local leaders, businesses, residents, and our outdoor community when drafting caribou recovery plans.
The most recent example of the negative economic impact these plans are having on our region is the decision by CMH Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures, a business that supports the outdoor recreational community, to withdraw its application to build a new heli-ski lodge in Castle Creek, south of McBride, due to the uncertainty surrounding caribou closures in the area.
This multi-million dollar project would have been an exciting addition to our region’s outdoor adventure tourism industry. Instead, we are now seeing yet another casualty of the NDP provincial government and Liberal federal government’s short-sighted policies when it comes to caribou recovery.
Once again, we all want the caribou to survive and thrive, however I am deeply concerned about the long-term negative impact these caribou agreements will have on our region’s economic development.
These agreements were signed without any real consultation despite public outcry from local residents, businesses, and community leaders, myself included.
I am looking forward to continuing to work hard on the issues that matter most to our communities and finally getting back to what I hope are regular sittings in the House of Commons when Parliament resumes later this month.
It is my honour to be your voice in Ottawa. If you have any questions or issues that you think need to be addressed in the House of Commons, please send me an email at Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca.
Bob Zimmer is the Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies.