SEHAB Member: Cindy Verbeek

Area: Smithers and Upper Skeena  

Community Advisor:  Vacant

Meeting Date:  February 24-26

Specific topics from last meeting or between meetings requiring comment


Possible change to SEHAB contract/role as described by Adam and Tina at last meeting.  Please describe how you see SEHAB now and where would you like to it go in the future.

Successes – Time to share and inspire each other. Time to have our concerns heard by RHQ staff. Time to have our questions answered by RHQ staff as they are able.

Challenges – Ongoing issues are not being addressed. May not have access to the people who can make the changes we are asking for. What is our overall goal? Can we accomplish that the way we function now?

Letter to Minister LeBlanc re: Fisheries Act Review.  Please provide specific examples of failure of the new Act or things you would like to see changed. 


CA Staffing. Please provide input as to relative importance of CAs to community groups in your area, their priority in terms of SEP funding constraints, and whether your area has/is well served by your CA.

CA’s are the face of DFO in the community. They are incredibly important in keeping the ball rolling on projects and providing the expertise especially for new projects. In my opinion (which is shared by the groups in my area) the CA should be high priority for funding. We are still without a CA since the last one retired in September. This is the most pressing topic in our area at the moment.

Identify up to 5 succinct issues that  you or your community would like SEHAB to take to DFO?


Where should SEHAB direct this concern?

Actions already taken by Community or DFO?

Possible solutions?

SEHAB opportunity and Work Plan fit?

1) We still do not have a CA in our area (it’s been 5 months) and groups are worried they will not be able to apply for funding and run their programs this year.


Regional Headquarters and/or whoever has the power to hire a new CA

Community groups have emailed RHQ as well as our MP to make them aware of our concerns. RHQ has said they are working on it. No response from MP at time of writing.

Hire a CA in Smithers.

Capacity and Core Funding

Continue to push for all CA positions in the province to be filled immediately and funded adequately.


2) Toboggan creek is not sufficiently funded to provide the services necessary.

Whoever deals with budgeting – RHQ?

The society has had a press conference with Nathan Cullen.

Groups in the area have expressed their support to Toboggan creek and an audience with RHQ staff will be requested.

Provide adequate funding to run their operations.

Aquaculture, Capacity and Core Funding

Provide support in the form or a letter and verbal pressure to whoever does the budgeting to ensure they are funded properly.

3) We have one Conservation Officers in Smithers office (there used to be three which was already not enough at that time).



We need more officers patrolling the rivers to ensure that people are not destroying habitat and fish.


Issue 4:





Issue 5:





*SEHAB Work Plan/Sub Committees are: Wild Salmon Policy (Stock Assessment, Habitat), Aquaculture, and Capacity & Core Fundin

Stories: Highlight important successes and challenges in your area that you would like to discuss this meeting. This can also be a place to provide background for the issues listed above.

Topic/Issue: No CA in Smithers

Successes: Terrace staff have been working extra hard to cover support to the Smithers and area projects. We appreciate all the hard work they are doing and going above and beyond to cover. We recognize that this is not sustainable however and need to get a CA hired as soon as possible.

Challenges: Projects that are already in existence (ie. Chicago Creek) are concerned that their programs will not be able to run this year because there is no CA to support the projects and clear the red tape.

Projects that are new (Skeena Meadows, Houston) need DFO support to apply for funding and permits. Once their projects are built they will need training and involvement from DFO because volunteers are not qualified yet to do the work.

DFO staff in Terrace have been trying to cover but their plates are already full with their own area and are not able (by no fault of their own) to give the support needed in a timely manner. This situation is not sustainable.










Submissions and Comments from Community Groups: