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HomeNewsWilliams Lake to Request $1 billion in rural recovery funds from federal,...

Williams Lake to Request $1 billion in rural recovery funds from federal, provincial governments

With files from Rebecca Dyok,

Cold, hard cash is what communities impacted by wildfires need now to encourage economic recovery according to a Williams Lake Councillor.

Councillor Scott Nelson made a recommendation at Tuesday night’s regular council meeting that Council request Federal and Provincial governments to establish a minimum $1 billion dollar recovery fund to assist BC communities as well as First Nations impacted by this year’s unprecedented wildfire season.

The fund would be called the Rural Fire Recovery Fund 2017.

“We’re still in the midst of it in terms of wildfires,” says Nelson.

“We’ve had the opportunity to have the Premier here along with the Prime Minister. They both recognized the situation that we’re in. We need assistance, we need help, and I don’t want to see a delay in terms of analyses and studies. What we need is cash for our communities across the board and that cash would be used to help our economies to get the boost that they need to get back up to a level prior to the fires.”

The recommendation which received unanimous support will now be forwarded to UBCM taking place in Vancouver September 25-29, as well as other organizations and governments for support.

The Province according to a letter addressed to Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett on August 15 by Mike Farnsworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General assures her that staff from a number of Ministries are directly engaged in addressing the critical issues of fencing, and tourism and business impacts.

“The ministers responsible for the full range of portfolios impacted by the wildfires, along with
the Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, continue to be deeply involved in these issues and are responding to the needs of our communities,” Farnsworth said.

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