The information contained below is an excerpt from this draft transcript, beginning at 2:45pm, for a Committee of the Whole – Section C meeting held on April 4, 2024. Video of the meeting is also available here.

Note: This is a DRAFT transcript of debate in one sitting of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. This transcript is subject to corrections and will be replaced by the final, official Hansard report.

The WPC is presenting an abbreviated version below for member convenience, and recommend you review the original draft transcript or the meeting video for additional information and context. The WPC is attempting to seek clarification on the statements provided below, but wanted to make our members aware that the DMP is still being actively discussed by government officials.

Committee of the Whole – Section C
Estimates: Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship

L. Doerkson:
... I guess what I'm hoping for today is just some clarity on the subject of docks in Pender Harbour specifically, and how that might play out throughout the province.
Hon. N. Cullen:
... One of the things that was asked for was the establishment of an advisory group between ourselves, shíshálh and representatives, voices, from the local dock-owning community, which we've done. We extended invitations to the various groups, and they're participating.
... We're listening, and we'll continue to listen until the 60 days are up and we have those comments in — but then beyond that, because this will be a relationship piece for years to come.
L. Doerkson:
... Going back to the grandfathering term, there's been obviously much concern about that. So can the minister just clarify for me whether or not that is proposed or whether that is going to actually happen, and would it be for all existing docks?
Hon. N. Cullen: 
... A couple of things. So existing docks, tenured and non-tenured, can remain under the new proposal. Existing boat houses, both tenured and not tenured, can remain. And there is a renewal application process that those structures can apply for as they're currently constructed.
... I think the vast, vast majority of dock owners will not be impacted by the new proposed management plan and that we have a Relative to other jurisdictions, we have got work to do, but with respect to the specific area we're talking about, I think the vast, vast majority of dock owners will not be impacted by the new proposed management plan.
L. Doerkson:
... I know that there has been some argument about transparency of light and all kinds of different things, but honestly, many of these docks, say, they feel quite strongly that they're actually part of an ecosystem now. I mean, they have living beings on them. The suggestion that we would remove them is questionable on their account,
Hearing that the vast majority will be okay and that we are going to have a grandfathering ability for many of these docks, it would seem concerning to me. I really would enjoy some information about docks that might be in harm's way.
Hon. N. Cullen: 
Initial estimates are that we're talking less than 1 percent of docks that would fall into the consideration, and these would be the ones in the category of most egregious, just in terms of environmental impact. North of 99 percent of dock owners' boat houses are not impacted whatsoever. That is dramatically more than what the original plan may have imagined, so we think that's good progress.
L. Doerkson: 
Thanks for that, Minister. I'm wondering if we could convert that 1 percent into a number. Clearly, if you define 1 percent, we would know that that's ten or 100 or however many docks.
Hon. N. Cullen: 
Our estimate is that it's less than ten.
... The single digits that we're talking about in terms of docks could fall into one of three or combination of the three categories. Unsafe. The dock is deemed unsafe, has significant environmental impact or is placed in a significant cultural impactful place that has been identified.
L. Doerkson:
... The point is that there have been decisions, obviously, to remove a number of docks, albeit a fairly small number. And I'm incredibly happy to hear that the minister is considering grandfathering a number of these docks. But it seems to me that we don't actually have a framework yet. We're still having conversation, and we've already decided to remove these docks. What triggered that decision?
Hon. N. Cullen:
... There has not been a decision, of the few docks that we're talking about, that they have to be removed. The conversation is the thing that happens next.
... No final decision has been made, and again, that'll be a decision made by a statutory decision-maker.
L. Doerkson:
... I think there have been, obviously, conversations with local government, obviously with the shíshálh. How is the minister engaging, if you will, the other residents that do live there?
Hon. N. Cullen:
The advisory group that I mentioned earlier is working right now, as we speak. ... There's a representative from the Sunshine Coast regional district. There's a technical representative from the district of Sechelt. These are where the invitations went to. There's a representative from the Waterfront Protection Coalition. My friend mentioned them earlier. An invitation went to the Pender Harbour and Area Residents Association, to the Sakinaw Lake residents association, or swiya Lakes Stewardship Alliance. There's a representative from the local business community, through the chamber of commerce, a representative from an ecological conservation community, or Sunshine Coast Conservation Association, and a representative from a recently permitted dock owner as well, somebody who had recently gone through the process.
L. Doerkson: …. Has the minister or the ministry considered just scrapping this and starting over? I can appreciate that that is a gargantuan task, but I also would suggest that there are often cases where we do not fix buildings; we tear them down and start over. I want to understand if the minister has contemplated that or would even consider that.
Hon. N. Cullen: 
We're not talking about starting from the beginning We think that we've got some good progress now with respect to both the proposed plan, which, again, excludes 99 percent plus of current dock owners and boathouse owners within the area.
... We want to be very transparent about what advice that group gave us with respect to the dock management plan. Then decisions will begin to be made between ourselves and shíshálh. It doesn't have to be all collectively at once. There may be some advice given to us that we can implement quite quickly. There may be other things that the advisory group is asking us to do that are much larger in scale, setting up an appeal process. That isn't done in a week. We're not going to predetermine any of those, of course. We want to have this as a meaningful consultation and await the outcomes after the 60 days are up, which is 45 days from now. Look forward to it.

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