Mayor Lee Brain said #newspapersmatter because they keep the community updated on council matters, hold politicians to account by asking the tough questions and gather the opinion of the community, on Oct. 5. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Prince Rupert citizens concerned by influx of out of province visitors

Local politicians call on Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to limit licenses

Many Prince Rupert residents have high concerns of the recent influx into the city of people from out of province, associated with sport fishing, during the COVID-19 health warnings of self isolation and social distancing. Discussions online in social media have grabbed local municipal and provincial politicians attention prompting them to act.

“Regarding out of town residents coming to Prince Rupert for recreation & tourism, folks, I understand that there is a growing concern regarding out of town residents coming to the area to fish and perform other tourism related activities,” Lee Brain, Mayor of Prince Rupert said in a social media post on April 1.

“Unfortunately we have already seen an influx of folks from Alberta here with their boats and trailers to sport fish. Not everyone is getting the message clearly,” Brain said.

With summer approaching, Brain said he thinks the matter is only going to get worse for communities in B.C.

READ MORE: Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Generally, the local north coast fishing season runs from late April to September.

“We are looking into what authorities we may have under existing provincial or federal orders as people should be staying at home and not traveling for non-essential purposes. We will update once we know more,” Brain said on social media, however, was not available for comment on April 3 to inquiries made by The Northern View.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP, Taylor Bachrach is calling on the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans to proactively discourage non-essential sport fishing trips.

Bachrach said he understands there is concern in coastal communities about the risk of visitors and that is why he has written to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans requesting the issuance of sport fishing licenses to in-province fishermen for the duration of COVID-19 as a way of limiting non essential inter-provincial travel.

“The Provincial Health Officer has advised against all non-essential travel, but we’re still seeing out-of-province sport fishermen arrive in communities, ” said Bachrach, “Sport fishing is vital to our economy, but right now we must prioritize the safety of our coastal communities.”

READ MORE: COVID-19 liability protection for essential workers

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on April 2, she also understands that many smaller communities are concerned about people coming to vacation homes and fishing lodges.

“I am asking people now to forego those types of travel. All non essential travel particularly to smaller communities where they may not have the recourses to support you should you become ill or should there be a transmission…” Henry said.

“…A really important thing we need to do now is to protect those who are more vulnerable in those communities particularly our seniors and our elders in remote communities around the province.”


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED- More wolf sightings – numerous encounters

Avoid attracting wolves with food sources and keep pets inside

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue explains BBQ blaze fire safety

Outdoor cooking safety needs fires extinguishers ready

Cloak-and-dagger ninja deliveries

Whining kids at home may be creating the need for wining moms at home

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read