This is an open letter to Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali. (Harry is of the opinion that the Stoney Lake Road Is Public.)
Dear Harry Lali:
I am writing with concern for the future generations and access to lakes and fishing, and for fishers and hunters and bird watchers in general.
I have a few questions for you and I hope you can find time to respond.
1. In a recent news article, you stated that the Stoney Lake Road is a public road as far as you know and until someone proves otherwise. Tell us more. You were the Minister of Transportation for a time while that gate was locked. Why is Douglas Lake Cattle Co. allowed to lock a gate on a public road and lock the public out of Minnie and Stoney Lakes? That area was a bird sanctuary as well until it was locked up. What happened to the bird sanctuary?
2. The Ministry of Transportation is openly saying that there is no public road there and you, having been the Minister at one time, will have an opinion as to why they are not telling the truth. Can you share that with us and perhaps offer a little help to get that public road open to the public?
3. The manager of DLR claims the fish in those lakes are his just as sure as his branded cows out on the range are his. Does he have the right to stock two public lakes and then publicly claim ownership of all of the fish in the lakes when a fish-bearing stream runs through the lake? Where is the Ministry of Environment hiding? Can you bring them out of the closet to talk?
4. What quality control is there for the fish going into those lakes? Who inspects them to make sure Douglas Lake Cattle Co. isn't bringing disease or parasites into our water systems for other fish downstream in Nicola Lake to catch? I caught some fish in Stoney last winter, and they were full of worms and the gills were eaten off by lice or some parasite. They didn't look healthy and bright like our native trout. What are they brooding there? Can anyone tell the public what is going on there? Do DLR have the required permits to bring foreign fish to our waterways? Why are the fish in Nicola showing an increased number of fish with worms hanging out of their sides lately?
5. Are those lakes being treated as ponds?
6. Why is it that absolutely everyone in government is reluctant or in complete refusal to giving any information about what they are doing with those two public lakes and why they are allowing Douglas Lake Cattle Co. to use them like they are their own private ponds? Ponds do not have trout-bearing streams attached to them so disease can be spread around the province, and DLR is not on the list of Aquaculture licences. This is a recipe for disaster, is it not?
7. Why are there locks on the Raspberry Road #71 and the Loon Lake Road #45? Both are public roads listed on the Road Features Inventory as roads to be maintained by VSA, and both are locked up by Douglas Lake Ranch at the highway's fence.
8. Can anyone hang a lock on a gate on a highway fence or do you have to be Douglas Lake Cattle Co. to do so?
9. There are a lot more legitimate questions to be answered, and we can't get any answers from the government. Can you get these answers for us, Harry? They are all very important answers, and they would be greatly appreciated by all, and as our MLA, they are kind of expected, I think.