Boat ban challenged

Salmon Arm councilor and Columbia Shuswap Regional District President Kevin Flynn says he does not support banning out-of-province boats to prevent the spread of invasive mussels in B.C. waters.

Flynn said such a move would have a “huge impact” on tourism in the Shuswap, much of which is centered on the region’s lakes.

At council on Monday, Flynn asked the city to write to provincial and federal ministers seeking more support in the fight against zebra and quagga mussels, which can contaminate beaches and lakes and cause millions in lost tourism revenue.

The CSRD recently reviewed a letter on the issue sent by the Shuswap Watershed Council and agreed to write its own letter of support.

“I think it's important to note that there's talk of banning out-of-province and out-of-country boats… I want to make it clear that I don't support that,” Flynn said.

“If you’re going to ban these boats, it’s going to have a huge impact on tourism and it’s going to need the same oversight and the same needs, if not more, than what it would cost and need to do just to check them. .”

He feels it is critical “that the feds and the province understand how important this is.”

Flynn said money for enforcement at major entry points needs to continue.

“I think we owe it to our residents and tourists to support this,” he said.

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