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

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

UPDATED: Vehicle strike likely caused death of grizzly cubs

The cubs were discovered on June 30 on Thorsen Creek Road

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Most Read