North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold wants to be in on the front-line to prevent invasive mussels from making their way into Okanagan waters.
He’s holding a round table meeting in Vernon next Wednesday with stakeholders from up and down the valley, including those from all levels of government.
“To sit down and let’s talk about the resources we have. How can we make best use of them.. Again, prevention is the ultimate goal if we can.”
When it comes to resources, Arnold says there may be some obvious ones, including the inspection of boats that have never even touched water.
“But there doesn’t seem to be any way of exempting them from the full inspection. So it’s little things like that we’re tying up resources inspecting boats that there’s absolutely no risk on when maybe those resources could be better used.”
Arnold is hoping to find a way to get more movement on the issue.
“At this point I would only be speculating on what the outcomes might be, but I think getting everyone in the same room at the same time, hopefully we can come up with some solutions.”
It’s estimated an infestation of zebra and quagga mussels in Okanagan Lake would cost 43 million dollars a year in economic loss and direct costs to repair infrastructure.