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Village of Pemberton embraces new stat holiday, Sept. 30

A new stat holiday is announced for the Village of Pemberton and Pemberton Fire Rescue approved to apply for FireSmart funding
Village of Pemberton municipal hall
Pemberton wants to make sure that a new stat holiday celebrates Indigenous peoples respectfully.

Following federal legislation, effective Aug. 3, the Village of Pemberton is embracing Canada’s new statutory holiday—the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“The establishment of the statutory holiday and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was action No. 80 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and it’s an important step in affirming our commitment to reconciliation,” said Village of Pemberton (VOP) project and research coordinator Laura Murphy at the Aug. 31 council meeting.

However, VOP Mayor Mike Richman, while welcoming the federal government’s decision to create the day, wants to make sure it is a day of respect and not just, “an extra day on our boat at the lake.”

“I’m hoping at a federal level that there will be great efforts put forward to making this day meaningful, as opposed to just symbolic,” said Richman. “And at the local level, I’d like us to explore how we can really celebrate this day. We talked about changing up our Canada Day celebrations a little bit, or how we do our funding. So I’d really like us moving forward to consider how the Village of Pemberton and the area celebrates, commemorates and acknowledges this holiday.”

The VOP will provide notice of the new public holiday via the Village’s Facebook page, in its eNEWS and on the Village website.

Although not currently recognized as a B.C. provincial statutory holiday, the province has encouraged provincial public sector employers to honour Sept. 30 as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, to meet obligations of the majority of collective agreements.

Pemberton Fire Rescue applies for second year of FireSmart funding

Pemberton Fire Rescue received council support for its application for grant funding up to $150,000 from the Union of BC Municipalities under the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) program for the 2022 Village of Pemberton FireSmart program.

According to Pemberton fire chief Robert Grossman, the CRI “is a provincially funded program intended to reduce the risk and impact of wildfires to communities in B.C. through community funding, supports and priority fuel management activities.”

In the spring of 2021, the Village was successful in securing funding to establish two temporary one-year term positions for a FireSmart program coordinator and a labourer with the role of developing a community-based FireSmart program designed to help residents prepare their home for a potential wildfire.

If successful in this application, the $150,000 the Village will receive will be able to fully support those two positions through to August 2023.

The funding would allow for the development and promotion of local FireSmart activities as well as fuel and vegetation management on publicly owned lands.