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

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

Just Posted

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Graffiti sprayed on 100 Mile Community Hall

‘We’re having a hard time through this COVID’

Have you been following the Justin Trudeau and WE Charity story?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Highway 97 to be repaved in 100 Mile House following complaints

‘It’s been over a month now since those holes have been developing’

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Northern Indigenous cannabis cultivation facility to supply over 60 private B.C. stores

Construction to soon resume on Nations Cannabis in Burns Lake

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Thousands of dollars in stolen rice found in B.C. warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

Most Read