The North Island’s new Conservation Officer, Jonathan Paquin, introduced himself to District of Port Hardy council Sept. 13.
Paquin told council he has been living in the North Island since January, but received his post late last year. “I’ve been a CO in B.C. for three years now,” he said.
His last posting was in Merritt, B.C. Prior to that he worked as a Fish and Wildlife Officer in Alberta, however he is originally from the North Island – Campbell River.
“Oh, the Mid-Island,” corrected Councillor John Tidbury. “We’re pretty sensitive (about that) up here,” said Mayor Hank Bood with a smile.
Pacquin said his coverage area is from Denman Island to Bella Bella. This is a busy time of year for the Conservation Officer Service because hunting season has begun and it is a busy time of year for human-wildlife conflicts. “It’s really starting to ramp up,” he said.
Paquin was asked about the CO’s relationship with Mounties. “We have a very close relationship with the RCMP. They aid us in several ways and we try to reciprocate,” he said.
“They are instrumental in helping us” with such things as locating vehicles or a high-risk situation,” said Paquin. “We juggle and we triage and we do the best that we can to the best of our abilities.”