Merritt Area MP Hopes for More Visits from Government Officials After Fires and Flood Damage This Year | Radio Netherlands



Flooding on Canford Avenue in Merritt on the morning of November 16, 2021 (Photo: Facebook: Tiffany Nicole)

Merritt-area MPP said it was important for Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth to see for himself the damage caused by flooding last month.

Jackie Tegart was one of many dignitaries who saw firsthand the damage and devastation in Merritt on Thursday, December 9.

“It’s great to come and see and tell people ‘yes we have your back’ but I think after our experience in the village of Lytton having your back we are going to keep their feet on the fire.” , she said. noted.

“The people of Merritt are devastated, as well as the people along the Highway 8 corridor, and we have a tremendous amount of work to do and the provincial government is an integral part of it.”

Local media were not notified of the tour, which Tegart said was unfortunate. British Columbia Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Murray Rankin were also part of the delegation, several local First Nations chiefs, the Mayor of Merritt, Linda Brown, and the chairman of the TNRD board. , Ken Gillis.

Tegart told NL News she was also disappointed that a meeting between the minister and Merritt city council had to be called off.

“I understand he encountered a weather problem around Hope so everything was postponed for a few hours,” she said. “However, it was pretty clear to me that the Town of Merritt is keen to have a good and long discussion with the Minister about its needs.”

Speaking on NL Newsday, she said residents of other communities in her constituency, Fraser-Nicola, are also hoping to have these ongoing discussions with the government.

“This is most certainly seen by the inhabitants of the region as a first step. This is not the only visit they expect from ministers and the government, ”Tegart added. “We have a lot of work to do and we need to have these conversations about how we are rebuilding and building better.”

And although there is no indication of the date of this next visit, Tegart hopes it will be as soon as possible.

Spences Bridge regional manager not informed of Farnworth’s visit

The Spences Bridge Area Manager for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District was unhappy that he had not been informed of Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth’s visit last week.

Speaking on NL Newsday, Steven Rice said the government needs to start reviewing its business plan when it comes to interacting with communities. Last month, he told NL News that people who live along Highway 8 between Merritt and Spences Bridge likely won’t be able to return home for years.

“Forest fires and floods are no longer the exception, they are the rule,” Rice said. “So it’s about time we started tackling something that’s going to face us every season, every year, and we’re, I would say, three or four laps behind on climate change in these disasters. So it’s time to catch up with the people ”

Rice says the government should be “bottom-up”, which means it should get its hands on local directors or mayors first. He also says all levels of government will need to work together on fire and flood recovery efforts starting this year.

“We have a year to two years, during which some of these people will never go home. Where people are not even going to return to their homes that still have their homes. They need to know the ministry cares about them, ”Rice added.

“Because in the long term, who is going to make the decisions that will make this happen? It will be the ministry. It’s going to be the province and the federal government ”

Rice adds that her constituents want to know that they have not been forgotten by the government.

– With files from Amanda Thode and Brett Mineer


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