Hon. Mike Farnworth Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Parliament Building Victoria, BC
Re: Avalanche Canada’s Time for Sustainable, Reliable Funding
Dear Minister Farnworth,
During the 2019 and 2020 budget estimates, I had the opportunity to highlight the excellent work Avalanche Canada does for our Province. As you know, Avalanche Canada is a national organization that services the entire country; however, you will know that 95% of Avalanche Canada’s forecasting stations are located in B.C., and only 80% of their budget is spent in B.C.
Over the past two decades, three-quarters of Canadian avalanche fatalities happened in B.C. As a direct result of the pandemic, Avalanche Canada has seen a record increase in backcountry users this winter, further increasing the risk to public safety. Troublingly, Avalanche Canada’s non-governmental funding has plummeted and to date, they have still not received the $1 million that you had committed to them and was confirmed by you during the last two estimate cycles.
It is an unacceptable fact that other provinces and territories commit more funding support per capita to Avalanche Canada than B.C. — this despite B.C. benefiting the most from the services they provide.
It is time for B.C. to step up and support this organization with sustainable, annual funding.
Please find attached copies of the 15 letters of support from national and international organizations that speak to the quality and necessity of Avalanche Canada’s work. Doug Clovechok, MLA Columbia River – Revelstoke
I look forward not only to your prompt response but immediate confirmation of the sustainable funding that you promised has been approved and is on its way to Avalanche Canada.
Doug Clovechok Member of the Legislative Assembly
Columbia River – Revelstoke
cc: Shirley Bond, Leader of the Official Opposition, MLA, Prince George-Valemount
Mike Morris, Official Opposition Critic for Public Safety, MLA, Prince George-Mackenzie