VANCOUVER - September 6, 2017 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Together, the governments of Canada and British Columbia continue to support the people of British Columbia and First Nations communities facing the immediate and long-term impacts of wildfires. Today the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 BC Wildfires met with members of the British Columbia Government, First Nations community leaders and representatives from the Canadian Red Cross to discuss progress and next steps in the response to the ongoing wildfires.
Co-chaired by the Honourable Minister Carla Qualtrough (Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee and Minister of Public Services and Procurement) British Columbia Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth and British Columbia Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development Doug Donaldson, the meeting focused on joint response, recovery and rebuilding efforts, including:
Further to these discussions, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, and British Columbia Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham today announced agricultural producers, who have been affected by this year's devastating wildfires, will receive assistance under the AgriRecovery Framework.
Within that Framework, the 2017 Canada-British Columbia Wildfires Recovery Initiative will provide up to $20 million to assist agricultural producers with the extraordinary costs incurred to recover from the adverse effects of this year's wildfires. This investment will be cost-shared 60:40 between the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia.
The Government of Canada will continue to work with Emergency Management B.C. and on-reserve First Nations communities to develop recovery plans and to reimburse eligible response and recovery costs.
The Federal Government is also committing to conduct a review of the response to the fires, in full partnership with the Government of British Columbia and B.C. First Nations, to improve the emergency management regime as well as identify preventative measures that can be undertaken ahead of future fires.
Present at the meeting were:
Federal Representatives: The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, the Honourable Karina Gould, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, and the Honourable Jane Philpott
British Columbia Representatives: The Honourable Doug Donaldson, the Honourable Mike Farnworth, the Honourable Scott Fraser, the Honourable Claire Trevena, Parliamentary Secretary Jennifer Rice, and the Honourable Lana Popham
First Nations Representatives: Grand Chief Edward John, Grand Chief Stewart Philip, Grand Chief Doug Kelly, and Acting Regional Chief Maureen Chapman
The Canadian Red Cross Representatives: Ms. Kimberley Nemrava and Ms. Melanie Soler
"My thoughts are with the communities that have been affected by the devastating wildfires across British Columbia. As Chair of the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 BC Wildfires, I want to thank Ministers Farnworth and Donaldson for hosting this meeting and for their ongoing commitment to collaboratively addressing both the short and long-term needs of those affected by these devastating events.I am confident that our combined efforts will help ensure that communities receive the support they need while focusing on rebuilding long-term resilience." -The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Chair of the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Federal Recovery Efforts for 2017 B.C. Wildfires
"Today's announcement underlines the close co-operation B.C. has seen from the federal government since these disastrous wildfires broke out. Our task now is to build on that collaboration so fire-hit communities and businesses -- in tourism, agriculture and forestry -- can get back on their feet as soon as possible and take practical steps to minimize the risk of future wildfires." -British Columbia Premier John Horgan
"This wildfire season, which continues to displace thousands of people, has been unprecedented in so many ways. To assist families, small businesses, local governments and First Nations in recovering from the damages caused by emergencies both now and in the future, the Province is committed to work collaboratively with the federal government to improve the public safety, emergency preparedness, and well-being of all British Columbians." -Mike Farnworth, British Columbia Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
"We've had an unprecedented wildfire season in British Columbia and today's meeting with our federal counterparts is a vital step forward for our recovery efforts and plans to minimize damage from future fires." -Doug Donaldson, British Columbia Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
"In times of emergency, we must come together and do whatever we can to support those affected. The AgriRecovery response program is the result of listening to the needs of B.C'.s farmers and ranchers and supporting them as they start rebuilding their lives and recovering from the significant losses brought on by this summer's wildfires. We are committed to ensuring British Columbians have the tools and resources at hand to return to their land and their livelihoods." -Lana Popham, British Columbia Minister of Agriculture
"Fighting wildfires is a massive effort that remains on-going in many places. The Government of Canada stands with British Columbians every step of the way. A special cabinet committee is ensuring fully coordinated support across all federal departments, including making financial support available through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. I want to thank everybody who has contributed so much, especially the brave and courageous first responders, the Red Cross and all of the government agencies that have been involved. We are all in this together, standing shoulder to shoulder to make sure that we do everything we possibly can to support those affected." -The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"Our government stands with producers who have withstood the wide reaching damage caused by the wildfires in British Columbia. We remain committed to working with producers and the province to ensure we meet the needs of those who have been affected and help them get back to business as soon as possible" -The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Government of Canada updates on Wildfires in British Columbia
Government of British Columbia Wildfire Updates
Business Risk Management programs for British Columbia farmers
SOURCE: Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Mary-Rose Brown, Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, 819-997-5421; Guy Gallant, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, 613-773-1059; Stephanie Sherlock, Director, Media Relations, Government Communications & Public Engagement, Government of British Columbia, 778-584-1254
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