‘Wild salmon are as important to British Columbians as the French language is to Quebecers.’

Those comments are from Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley, who co-chaired a Wild Salmon Advisory Council that released a report detailing 14 options to support the health, habitat and management of wild salmon.

Routley says the key to developing this report was many groups, often in opposition with one another, compromising and working together.

“The first step was bringing very distance voices to the table together, who are quite often put in conflict with each other. Instead, we took the perspective of bringing them together,” said Routley. “They put forward these options, these options will now go out to the public for consultation, and then come back to our council in order for us to recommend governance on legislative and regulatory changes that can help salmon.”

Routley said it’s key that the legislative process moves quickly.

“It’s being pushed forward very quickly,” said Routley. “Work had to be done in a matter of months and now the consultation will happen quite rapidly because we know we can’t wait, there’s no way that British Columbians can expect our salmon to survive inaction.”

The council is made up of a variety of inland and coastal First Nations groups, along with the provincial New Democrats and Greens.

Public consultation is the next step in the process before legislated changes can happen.