Honourable John Horgan, MLA
Premier of British Columbia
West Annex, Parliament Buildings
Dear Premier Horgan,
I wrote to you on August 20, 2021 about the impact the wildfires have had on thousands of British Columbians, yet have not received a reply from you. Your correspondence office did confirm receipt but the lack of direct communication is very disappointing, especially because the situation has gotten worse since the letter was delivered.
People in fire-ravaged areas including Lytton, Monte Lake, Paxton Valley, Killiney Beach, Beau Park Road, Ewings Landing and other affected communities want a simple answer to the question of whether the Province has put in a request to the federal government to secure Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). We know that dozens and dozens of homes have been destroyed in these communities. This assistance would help people replace or repair their basic and essential personal property, including for those who did not have insurance. With this year being an extraordinary and unprecedented wildfire season, fire-affected residents are looking for swift and generous financial assistance.
What makes your lack of response on the question of disaster relief even less acceptable is the fact this support was pursued by your government in 2017 following that devastating wildfire season. If you reached out to the federal government for these supports then, why not now? What’s more, you publicly stated that, “Mr. Farnworth, Minister Conroy and I are all committed to making sure that those resources leave government and get into the hands of people, so they can do the work that needs to happen.” These residents are counting on you to keep your word.
All of these residents, who have lost so much, need a clear answer from you on this. They are wondering where they are going to live and how they are going to rebuild their lives. Winter isn’t that far off, which will make their situation even more dire. They need to know that you have their backs and will get them the financial supports they need to take care of themselves and their families.
This is a crisis and people deserve more than confusing messaging and fly-overs — they deserve action. I hope to hear from you directly, and quickly, on the steps you are taking to bring desperately needed relief and reassurance.
Interim Leader of the Official Opposition