Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says they don’t want a repeat of the past when it comes to the fire recovery efforts in the North Cariboo…

“Our experience in the past with parachuted in teams from elseware, whether it’s a Canfor mill closure, the Northstar one or whether it was the MLA last time where she brought in a lot of senior bureaucrat horsepower into the community. First off they start by thinking we don’t have anything in the works, we don’t have an economic development plan, we don’t have a strategy and there’s the presumption that we need to start at square one.”

Simpson says they often tell them about programs that they have either already taken advantage of or have been turned down.

He says they then go back home without adding any incremental value, calling it “a flash in the pan.”

Simpson says what’s needed is a made in Quesnel or made in the North Cariboo solution…

“Absolutely, we don’t believe for a second that Vicoria or Vancouver, or wherever these senior public servants live, will ever understand what the impacts have been in any of the fire zones.”

Simpson says the business community has been very clear on what it needs and he feels local people are best positioned to understand those needs and how best to address them.

He says they don’t have the staff however, and that’s why they are asking for funding for a Recovery Coordinator.

Simpson says they need that position immediately and he says they can then work with the Provincial Government on the longer term development strategy, but after the immediate needs are met.