Union of B.C. Municipalities says more money, not finger-pointing needed to reduce wildfire risk

By Gordon Hoekstra
Victoria Times Colonist
August 25, 2023
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Ralston

More money and assistance — not finger-pointing — is needed to help communities to reduce their wildfire risk, says the presdient of the Union of B.C. Municipalities.  Jen Ford was responding to B.C. Forests Minister Bruce Ralston’s comments, made Wednesday, that blamed communities for slow progress on reducing wildfire risk in and around their communities.  “It’s not the time to … point fingers at local governments. Rather, say: ‘How can we help?’ ” said Ford, a Whistler councillor and chairwoman of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.  …And Ford added there are some small communities that simply don’t have the resources or capacity to apply for provincial wildfire resiliency programs or carry out and monitor the work. What they need is help from other levels of governments, she said. …On Thursday, Robert Gray, a longtime wildfire ecologist in B.C., called Ralston’s comments “completely false.” …“The problems is there is not enough money. It’s basically wrapped up in bureaucracy,” he said.

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