December 12, 2018 8:03 pm
Updated: December 12, 2018 8:04 pm

Fish and Game Association opposes Jason Kenney’s proposal to sell Crown land

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney speaks in Edmonton Alta, on Monday January 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The Canadian Press
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Another group has come out against United Conservative leader Jason Kenney’s proposal to sell public land in northwestern Alberta to help balance the province’s books.

Kenney floated the idea last month at a Rural Municipalities Association meeting, saying the land in the Peace River region is “unproductive” and could be sold for agricultural use.

The Alberta Fish and Game Association say this Crown land is important for the survival of fish, wildlife and biodiversity.

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President Doug Butler says people should contact Kenney and United Conservative party candidates and let them know how they feel about the proposal.

Last month, Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey said he takes issue with Kenney calling the land unproductive, saying it is where Indigenous people have treaty rights to fish and hunt.

Noskey said Kenney’s plan would see part of the traditional territory of many First Nations in the area sold off to private owners, removing the natural habitat for many animals.

“Each time a piece of land is sold to private owners a beautiful natural area is destroyed, land that both First Nations need and Albertans can enjoy,” he said.

“We need to make sure we are preserving as much as possible for future generations.”

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The Fish and Game Association is also concerned that Kenney has said he wants to make quick decisions on big issues without consulting people if the United Conservatives form government next spring.

“It is government’s responsibility to steward the land for all Albertans; an action that does not involve selling it,” Butler said Wednesday in a release. “Consultation is the backbone of democracy.”

Butler said in 2011, the former Progressive Conservative government quietly auctioned Crown land that virtually no one knew of until the sale was completed.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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