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VOP to ask for tourism support, change to childcare funding cap

Council briefs: Pemberton Fire Department asks for FireSmart support and approval for helping outside boundaries 
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Pemberton council voted to submit two new resolutions to the Lower Mainland Local Government Association.

Village of Pemberton council has submitted a second and third resolution for consideration at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association Meeting in May. 

If endorsed at that meeting, the resolutions will go on to be discussed at the Union of BC Municipalities meeting in September. One submission asks for support for local governments to establish sustainable tourism policies and programs, ensuring visitors use the land and natural resources in a way that protects the environment. It comes in the wake of COVID-19 travel restrictions encouraging domestic travel.

Mayor Mike Richman suggested adding language to include areas under provincial jurisdiction as well—like forest service roads, recreation sites and, highways. 

“My only question to council would be … is it our ask to provide funding to assist local governments specifically in this endeavour?” he asked during the council meeting on Tuesday, March 16. “Certainly having funds for local government to manage the onslaught of visitors is a big part of what we’re talking about here. But I was just wondering if there was also funding for the province’s own departments.”

In the end, council voted to submit the resolution with the addition for provincial funding. 

Council also voted to submit a resolution co-sponsored by the District of Squamish regarding the cap for the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund.  

It argues that many rural areas face higher-than-average construction prices and should be able to submit proposals that exceed the current cap of $40,000 per space. 

Pemberton fire department to apply for FireSmart grant

Council voted to support the Pemberton Fire Rescue Department’s application for a $150,000 grant from the UBCM under its community resilience investment program for the Village of Pemberton FireSmart program.

The program “is a provincial program intended to reduce the risk of wildfire to communities in B.C. through community funding support and priority field management activities and funding requests for FireSmart activities,” Fire Chief Robert Grossman told council. 

If the department receives the grant, it will be used to create two positions: a FireSmart program coordinator and a worker to develop a comprehensive community-based FireSmart program. The positions would be temporary, one-year jobs set to tentatively start in August 2021. 

Support for fire department to respond outside boundaries

Pemberton Fire Rescue has the support of council to continue responding to calls outside of its Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Electoral Area C jurisdiction. 

Currently, the department responds to the entire SLRD Area C covering approximately 5,570 square-kilometres. That includes Highway 99 North/ Duffey Lake Road—to the boat launch—and to Blowdown Creek. Past that is Lillooet Road Rescue jurisdiction, Grossman said. 

“When Pemberton Fire Rescue travels outside of Area C for a motor vehicle accident, we contact EMBC, Emergency Management British Columbia, and a task number is requested to ensure cost recovery outside our area is done,” Grossman said. 

While in the past, the department simply submitted applications for this, there have been changes to the process this year, he added. “Now they require that to be recognized as a Road Rescue Service provider outside of its jurisdiction, permission from council must be granted to do so,” he said. 

To that end, he requested council support the continued service to the Duffey Lake boat launch and Blowdown Creek, as well as to areas when there is a “known entrapment” on the Hurley River Forest Service Road past the 16 km boundary, the Pemberton Forest Road near the Highline, and the In-SHUCK-ch Forest Service Road past the 25 km mark. 

“It’s all cost recovery, it’s just a matter of EMBC requesting this resolution,” Grossman said. 

Council voted to support the service. 

Climate action info session set

The VOP has added a climate action public information session to its calendar. Set for April 8 from 6 to 7:15 p.m., Village staff and representatives from the Community Energy Association will lead a conversation about how to tackle climate change in the community. 

Participants will learn how they can help and have a say in developing a local Community Climate Action Plan.

After the session, the Village will release a related online survey.

For more information, or to sign up, visit