A coalition of small rural coastal and island communities are requesting provincial funding to support emergency services, including the Town of Gibsons.
“I think it’s something we really do need to support,” said Coun. David Croal at a Feb. 2 regular council meeting in response to a letter from Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas, who is leading the initiative.
The letter asks Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne to review tax policies to free up revenue for grants programs or other assistance “to support our communities so we can provide an affordable, reliable, and sustainable essential fire protection and road rescue service for our regional residents and businesses.”
Provincial funding assistance to cover the cost of apparatus, equipment, training and facilities has been requested through resolutions to the Union of BC Municipalities for more than 27 years, said the letter. “To date the provincial response has been ‘No.’ We feel we cannot accept this answer anymore.”
The coalition is made up of Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities members who belong to smaller communities.
Coun. Aleria Ladwig asked that the Sunshine Coast Regional District be asked to sign as well, but Mayor Bill Beamish said the letter only represents those in the coalition. Councillors unanimously supported the letter’s request.