Newly minted Premier John Horgan announced his cabinet appointments, and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice was named parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness.
“I’m really honoured that John Horgan has entrusted me with this file considering the crisis that’s happening our province right now,” Rice said on Tuesday, July 18, following the news conference.
The province has already spent $98 million on fighting the wildfires that have burned up 327,000 hectares since April 1.
“Sunday, yesterday and even today and right up until the beginning of the ceremony, I was working with local government and emergency preparedness staff already working on some of the challenges we’re facing in the Bella Coola Valley because of wildfires, evacuations and cut offs of supplies,” she said.
As of Monday, there were reports of people stranded and unable to get home to Bella Coola Valley due to highway closures.
“I certainly will be hitting the ground running,” Rice said.
The North Coast was also represented at the swearing-in ceremony in the Government House in Victoria where traditional Tsimshian dancers were invited to perform.
“It was [an] absolutely ‘knock ‘em out of the park’ welcoming ceremony, done by Tsimshian drummers and singers and so it was such a homecoming for me to not only just see the faces I know from home, here in Victoria, but to hear the Tsimshian songs that I know so well now.”