Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP, Taylor Bachrach is suggesting Fisheries and Oceans Canada to restrict the issuance of sport fishing licenses to in-province fishermen.
In a letter to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Bernadette Jordan co-signed by Bachrach and Courtenay- Alberni MP Gord Johns the pair said this will only be for the duration of COVID-19 and is a way to stop non-essential travel.
In the letter, Bachrach and Johns said in coastal communities they are seeing a significant amount of out-of-province sport fishermen arriving each week.
Bachrach said concerns that he has heard from the remote and rural communities is that people are taking non-essential trips either recreationally or to escape the virus.
“Having visitors at this point in time puts a strain on their services, puts a strain on their local supplies and it’s not on. The province has been pretty clear in their briefings that non-essential travel to rural areas is really discouraged at this time but we’re still seeing it occurring,” he said.
The letter also said the two MPs understand sport fishing is a vital part of the region’s economy but said they are committed to working alongside the sportfishing industry.
Bachrach also said that non-essential travel is putting too much of a burden on the rural and remote communities.
“There will be time after this crisis is over to plan your recreational trip or your holiday to one of the beautiful parts of Northern and rural British Columbia but, now is not the time, right now we need to focus on the directions of the Provincial Health Officer,” he said.
Bachrach also added it has been encouraging that Dr. Bonnie Henry has been emphasizing the message of non-essential travel.