A fire-damaged home at Boston Flats near Ashcroft during peak wildfire season, July 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Federal help for B.C. wildfire recovery on way

Premier John Horgan says $100 million helps businesses rebuild

Premier John Horgan has welcomed word of $100 million in additional funds to help B.C.’s wildfire recovery effort, after discussing the issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week.

Horgan said Wednesday the approval for federal wildfire aid was rapidly received after he bluntly told Trudeau in a meeting last week to “bring some cash” to deal with B.C.’s largest-ever forest fire season this summer.

“I raised it with the Prime Minister in the morning and a letter came in the afternoon saying the money was available,” Horgan told reporters at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

“This is the worst fire season we’ve had in recent memory and we need to make sure we have all the resources at our disposal to help people in the affected communities,” Horgan said. “It’s small business that were depending on revenues from July and August to get through the cold winter. It’s tourism operators who have now had their tenure areas eliminated completely.”

B.C. already has committed additional money for reforestation and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says salvage logging permits are being expedited to allow sawmills to harvest fire-damaged timber, while fence replacement and other assistance for ranchers in the B.C. Interior began as soon as burned areas were accessible.

Business and tourism recovery is a longer project, Horgan said.

“These are going to be long-term solutions,” Horgan said. “To have a federal partner as we build a recovery plan to make sure that everyone who’s affected has a fair shake, I think is very welcome news.”

more to come…

Just Posted

7th annual Invermere Music Fest

A snapshot of the festival

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Need cash to splash

Radium Sunrise Rotary Club wants to build a splash park in Radium Hot Springs

Kootenay National Park about to turn 100

Ninety-nine years of publicly-accessible wilderness

Water bottling facility proposed in Canal Flats

Source of the Columbia Beverages Inc. promises jobs and financial investment into community

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read