The CRD board wants to ensure government funding is in place for search and rescue groups across B.C. and has asked staff to prepare a resolution for the upcoming NCLGA conference about the issue. File image

Provincial government needs to fund search and rescue: CRD

CRD board wants NCLGA resolution calling on the province to ensure secured funding is in place for SAR groups

An alternate director with the Cariboo Regional District wants certainty government funding will be given to search and rescue groups across the province.

“Many times people’s bacon has been saved by search and rescue,” said Mary Glassford, alternate director for Area I, during the CRD board meeting Friday in Williams Lake.

Glassford said she is upset because there were no funds allocated for search and rescue in the 2019 provincial budget.

“This isn’t right,” she said. “SAR does search and rescue on mountains, they do towns and cities, they look for kids that go missing, or the elderly wander off, they hard to stop suicide attempts in many different circumstances and are often the ones to pick up the pieces. They assist police on crimes scenes with evidence searches, some of them are the only ones on scene for remote accidents.

Read more: Concerns rise as B.C. search and rescue funding set to expire

There could be something coming down the pipes, however.

On Friday afternoon, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Emergency Management BC put out a media advisory stating there will be a funding announcement on Saturday, March 23, regarding ground search and rescue teams in B.C. at the Coquitlam Search and Rescue and Fire Hall at 11 a.m.

A spokesperson for the office said no further information on the announcement was available at this time.

Glassford asked that a resolution on the topic be drafted for the upcoming North Central Local Government Association convention taking place in the lakecity in May.

The board received the resolution and voted to forward it to staff to write the resolution.

Quesnel city councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, alternate director for Mayor Bob Simpson, said there have been ongoing requests through UBCM to the provincial government to provide sustained funding to SAR groups as far back as 2006.

“The reply back this year, which came back in February, was that they gave a $10 million grant in 2016, another $5 million in 2017,” Roodenburg said. “In February 2018, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General approved in principle for staff to develop for consideration a framework for a government-administered fund.”

Area D director Steve Forseth applauded Glassfordfor raising the issue and said it is important to keep the pressure up.

“If SARs have to fundraise for training and capital they may just throw up their arms and give up because you cannot fundraise for equipment on the backs of bake sales. You need these grants.”

Gerald Kirby, Area J director, is a member of the West Chilcotin Search and Rescue (WCSAR) and said it has always been supported by fundraising in the past.

“All the money the province put out last year was good, very helpful and went a long ways, but it was a one-time thing. The big issue for search and rescue is the ongoing costs that happen every year.”

Emily Epp, manager of communications for the CRD confirmed that SAR groups in the Cariboo Regional District receive funding from the CRD through taxation.

CCSAR is a CRD service and $246,422 is allocated for it in 2019, she said.

“We have contribution agreements with the other three,” Epp added, noting in 2019 $25,678 went to South Central SAR, $12,991 to North Central SAR and $5,134 to WCSAR.

Read more: CCSAR recruiting new members, hosting open house



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Quesnel locals share powerful, heartfelt stories for breakfast program

Correlieu principal Dennis Hawkins- Bogle organized the event

Suns out sticks out

Newly renovated Lewis Drive Rink in West Quesnel to host ball hockey tourney this Saturday

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

BC Bus North service extended to September

Transportation ministers have extended the service, which was set to expire at the end of May

UPDATED: Highway 97 south reopened following two-car collision

Fire, police and B.C. Ambulance Service are all on scene

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Another illegal dump of 200 Dungeness crab discovered in northern B.C.

DFO confident new site related to larger April 2 dump

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

Most Read