What about rural communities and communities outside the Lower Mainland ?
The Liberal MLA for Cariboo North is asking those questions following yesterday’s Throne Speech in Victoria.
Coralee Oakes says there was a lot of talk about standing with communities and not leaving anyone behind, but she says that’s exactly what’s happening in the North Cariboo, even when it comes to support for wildfires…
“For example Nazko needs 140 thousand and they’ve been denied from Red Cross for support because they need basic fire fighting equipment. They need some hoses, they need a generator, they need some very basis equipment.”
Oakes says a lot of rural communities north of 100 Mile are also having difficulties in getting insurance after two years of wildfires.
She says they also need more manpower at the Cariboo Fire Centre…
“We only have 25 for the entire Cariboo Fire Centre. Penticton has six. If you start looking across the province we have a significantly low number of people in the wildfire service branch, both the Blackwater crew out of Quesnel and the Cariboo Fire Centre in general. No new investments for staff in the last two years. I would have thought we would have seen some increases, so I will be paying close attention when the budget is announced next week.”
Oakes says she would also like the Provincial Government to fund three phase power in communities like Wells and Nazko.
Oakes says she also takes issue with the Throne Speech when it comes to West Fraser Road…
“Today I started my video blog where every day I will be asking the Minister, what is happening with West Fraser Road ? So again I put in the notice of question, with six pointed questions to the Minister about what is happening with West Fraser Road. When can we expect that project to be moving forward ? There needs to be a recognition if you are honestly saying that you are standing with communities and that you are not going to leave people behind. You have communities waiting since April to even get acknowledged by this Minister. She will not take meetings, she will not respond to requests. Communities have been absolutely left in the dark so when I hear a Throne Speech that talks about how the government is working to support communities and that they’re not leaving anyone behind, you know I invite them to actually maybe, after almost a year, to sit down with communities whose lives have been absolutely altered.”