B.C. Premier John Horgan touched down in Chilliwack Tuesday afternoon to hear stories of flood recovery and resilience from a range of community leaders from Chilliwack and Abbotsford.
Chilliwack’s MLAs Kelli Paddon and Dan Coulter flanked the premier at city hall, as he listened to accounts of the aftermath of flooding and slides that devastated parts of the Fraser Valley last November.
“It was great to have Premier Horgan join us here in Chilliwack to see firsthand the incredible work and resilience of the people here in the Fraser Valley,” said Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack. “We know there is still a lot of work to be done and our government is committed to working with these local leaders and organizations.”
One of the projects discussed was a Resiliency Centre project being set up at the Yellow Barn near the No. 3 Road exit.
Mayor Mayor Ken Popove told The Chilliwack Progress they also talked about the 80/20 split.
That refers to the provincial financial assistance made available for individuals, municipalities and First Nations, which covers 80 per cent of costs related to flooding and slides from November 2021 that were not covered by insurance.
Some are finding it difficult to cover their 20 per cent, the mayor underlined.
“Municipalities like us, we can absorb those costs,” Popove said. “And $13 million is what it cost us. Others are struggling.”
The $13-million price tag for Chilliwack represents repair work for 40 water-related damage incidents, ranging from landslides, to creek blowouts.
“We shared some of the ways that we’re building back better,” Popove said, adding that a slide show of photos depicted some of the slide repairs in Chilliwack like the major repair on Vedder Mountain Road. “It’s amazing that we were able to get back on track here, working closely with the province.”
Premier Horgan said he would take what he heard back to Victoria, Popove added.
The round table meeting at Chilliwack Community Services included reps from: Chilliwack Bowls of Hope Society, United Way BC, Archway Community Services, the AgriSafe Network, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, the Mennonite Disaster Service, the Yarrow United Mennonite Church, the University of the Fraser Valley and the Abbotsford Community Foundation.
At city hall, along with City of Chilliwack officials, there was District of Kent Mayor Sylvia Pranger, members of the Fraser Valley Regional District and local First Nations leaders from Seabird Island, Skowkale, Tzeachten, and Sto:lo Tribal Council.
“The premier heard directly from leaders across our area and discussed the work ahead,” Paddon said. “Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their stories, needs, and ideas about our way forward together.”
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