Canada's NDP


December 6th, 2023

MP Bachrach calls on feds to step up for BC watershed security

OTTAWA: Yesterday, at the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, Members of Parliament passed a motion Taylor Bachrach (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) tabled, calling on the federal government to help build a $1 billion BC watershed security fund in collaboration with the provincial government and private investors.

Bachrach’s motion would create local jobs, restore watershed and help British Columbians take on a changing climate – yet, the Conservatives voted against it.

“The BC NDP government has made a historic investment in watershed security that centres on Indigenous and community-led governance. After the devastating fires, floods and droughts that B.C. has recently seen, there is an urgent need to restore our watersheds, build climate resilience and create good-paying jobs. To seize this full opportunity, the federal government needs to come to the table in a substantial way.”

Speaking at committee, Bachrach emphasized the opportunity to bring local governments, First Nations, NGOs, and landowners together around a vision of resilience and restoration.

“Our committee heard a compelling presentation from the B.C. Wildlife Federation that highlighted the collaboration that exists between groups,” said Bachrach. “A timely federal investment would build on that collaboration and allow BC to meet the challenge that climate change poses for our watersheds.”

While the federal government provides some funding for watershed protection via the Federal Freshwater Action Plan, it has largely gone to other parts of Canada. Of the $70.5 million in freshwater action plan funding since 2017, $44.84 million has gone to the Great Lakes and $25.7 million to Lake Winnipeg.