A fire-damaged home at Boston Flats near Ashcroft during peak wildfire season, July 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Federal help for B.C. wildfire recovery on way

Premier John Horgan says $100 million helps businesses rebuild

Premier John Horgan has welcomed word of $100 million in additional funds to help B.C.’s wildfire recovery effort, after discussing the issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week.

Horgan said Wednesday the approval for federal wildfire aid was rapidly received after he bluntly told Trudeau in a meeting last week to “bring some cash” to deal with B.C.’s largest-ever forest fire season this summer.

“I raised it with the Prime Minister in the morning and a letter came in the afternoon saying the money was available,” Horgan told reporters at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

“This is the worst fire season we’ve had in recent memory and we need to make sure we have all the resources at our disposal to help people in the affected communities,” Horgan said. “It’s small business that were depending on revenues from July and August to get through the cold winter. It’s tourism operators who have now had their tenure areas eliminated completely.”

B.C. already has committed additional money for reforestation and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says salvage logging permits are being expedited to allow sawmills to harvest fire-damaged timber, while fence replacement and other assistance for ranchers in the B.C. Interior began as soon as burned areas were accessible.

Business and tourism recovery is a longer project, Horgan said.

“These are going to be long-term solutions,” Horgan said. “To have a federal partner as we build a recovery plan to make sure that everyone who’s affected has a fair shake, I think is very welcome news.”

more to come…

bc wildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teachers need more time to prepare for fall reopening, says Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association

GVTA president says class schedules need to be reworked for cohort model

Downtown Victoria’s on-street parking time limits, rates back in effect

City reinstates restrictions, extends reduced rates for parkades and other metered areas

Turf replacement installed at Oak Bay High

New Astroturf will be ready for school, sports still cancelled

View Royal mayor victimized in CERB identity theft scam

David Screech shocked to find his CRA account was accessed, his banking information changed

Greater Victoria real estate sales numbers tell two stories for July

Real estate board president Sandi-Jo Ayers talks about pent-up spring demand, low inventory

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Most Read