Government recovery liaisons appointed

October 29, 2021

Emergency Management BC

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has released the following statement about Lytton’s wildfire recovery:

“The last few months have been extraordinarily challenging for those affected by the catastrophic wildfire in Lytton. The near-total loss of the community is heartbreaking, and this devastating event remains in the thoughts of British Columbians. While wildfire recovery is led by the communities affected, I want to assure residents that Lytton is not doing this alone.

“To help ensure a strong, lasting recovery for the Village of Lytton, cabinet has tasked Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, and Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development, as recovery liaisons between our government and the village.

“Parliamentary secretaries Rice and Russell have extensive experience in supporting Grand Forks’ ongoing community rebuild following the 2018 floods, and I am confident they will bring both their knowledge of disaster recovery and a compassionate lens to this significant directive.

“Starting immediately, the parliamentary secretaries will strengthen lines of communication with the mayor and council of the Village of Lytton. They will listen to the feedback that is provided to the village by residents and will bring this information back to government through the cabinet working group on wildfire recovery.

“Right now, the Province needs to support the village in ensuring that residents are heard, and that people are safe and supported over the winter months. I have already authorized emergency supports through the end of November, and I can commit to continued supports through to at least the spring for those who have lost a primary residence.

“We all want to see Lytton rebuilt and rebuilt quickly. But the reality is that housing solutions take time. There will be bumps along the road to recovery.

“To ensure community debris removal progresses, the Province has stepped in to get this important work co-ordinated and underway in a timely manner.

“We have committed funding for both the transportation and disposal of debris preventing further delays in the cleanup process.

“When issues like this arise in Lytton, parliamentary secretaries Rice and Russell will be ready to ensure the Province can take appropriate action without delay.

“There will be many challenges in this recovery in the weeks and months to come. But I can assure Lyttonites that the Province will continue to work directly with the village to get you back on your feet.”