Former Liberal MLA resigns post as Horgan's caribou liaison
A Woodland caribou is shown in a British Columbia government handout photo. (Government of British Columbia)
VICTORIA -- Premier John Horgan says the man he appointed to help in the recovery of threatened caribou in British Columbia's northeast has resigned.
In a statement issued Friday, Horgan thanks former Liberal cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom for his important work on the difficult issue of protecting the animals.
Government figures from 2019 reveal the Dawson Creek area has six caribou herds, but their numbers have declined from 800 to about 220 over two decades.
Horgan appointed Lekstrom last year to bridge tensions between local groups, including backcountry enthusiasts and Indigenous nations, over government plans to save threatened herds.
The province implemented an interim moratorium on the recovery program when Lekstrom produced a report calling for more local government involvement.
However, Horgan says the province cannot unilaterally change the program's partnership agreement, which requires the consent of all parties involved in the recovery program. Those parties are the provincial and federal governments and the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations.