Dear Premier Horgan,
While you were away, thousands of British Columbians have experienced evacuation orders and alerts while countless others faced the smoke and flames from wildfires raging in much of our province.
As you return to British Columbia, our communities are looking for greater certainty, better communication, and financial supports to assist with the loss of homes, and other impacts to property and livelihoods.
Further to our telephone conversation on Monday, July 26th. You had mentioned that the province was in litigation with Safeguard and restricted on what you could speak about, other than to confirm that Safeguard, although invited, had not submitted any bid to contract services for BC Wildfire.
In discussion with MLA Davies and Safeguard after our conversation, they state that they are not in Litigation with BCWFS or the Province of BC. Safeguard had sent what they termed, a “friendly letter” 2 months ago asking government to pay 2.2 million dollars outstanding for the Burns Lake deployment of 2018 as they had only been paid for the original Fort St. James deployment. Safeguard states they have so far chosen not to pursue it in lieu of trying to work with BCWFS and the conflict it would create.
As you know, it has been a devastating couple of weeks for the people of Lytton as a wildfire virtually destroyed the town and everything in it. My constituents suffered great trauma as they evacuated homes and businesses on a moment’s notice, most with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Tragically, we lost two valued community members and our hearts go out to their families and loved ones.
With all this in mind, it is vital that we ensure these evacuees get the supports they need. To my knowledge, in B.C. we have never seen a wildfire destroy nearly an entire town before. This makes the situation unique, and we must respond accordingly.
I am writing to you today because countless British Columbians found themselves unprepared for the extreme heat wave that our province faced. It is vital that we better understand what happened and what changes need to be made to ensure that we are prepared to prevent the unnecessary loss of life when the next heat health emergency occurs.
It is for this reason that I am calling for an independent review of the response to the heat wave we experienced, in order to understand how we can better respond to future extreme heat events. I think we can both agree this is likely to become a more regular occurrence.
The horrific discovery of a burial site of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is absolutely heartbreaking and has deeply impacted Indigenous people and people throughout the country.
Yesterday’s statements from all parties in the Legislature were deeply moving and demonstrated a clear commitment from all of us to continuing to move forward with meaningful reconciliation.
Thank you for your ongoing service to British Columbians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I also thank you for prioritizing cancer patients for their first doses. As they are recognized as a priority, I am writing today to implore you to reconsider the timing of second doses, specifically for cancer patients. I write on behalf of the many cancer patients across B.C. I have heard from those whose physicians advise them that they would greatly benefit from receiving their second dose within the manufacturers’ recommended dose schedule of either 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna).
We are writing to you today to reiterate our concern about the shortage of veterinarians in British Columbia and the impact it is having on animals, their owners, and the vets themselves.
This is not a new issue; in fact, it was raised by our Caucus in December 2019 but unfortunately, we haven’t seen any movement on it — and the situation is becoming much more serious.