As the prospect of a federal election call sometime this summer looms, politicians gathered Tuesday morning in Lions Bay to announce federal and provincial investments of $1 million for projects for Lions Bay and Whistler.
The projects include a two-storey addition to the emergency building in the Village of Lions Bay and creating fuel breaks in the Nesters Hill area of Whistler to help manage the impacts of wildfires.
A fuel break is "a barrier or a change in fuel type or condition (to one that is less flammable than that surrounding it), or a strip of land that has been modified or cleared to prevent fire spread," according to the BC Wildfire Service.
A news release said the funding for these projects comes through Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream.
“As extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, municipalities need to take proactive measures to better respond and manage emergency situations in order to protect residents and properties,” said Patrick Weiler, MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.
“The funding announced today will do just that, with upgrades to an emergency building in Lions Bay and forest fire mitigation in Whistler, which will help protect more than 13,000 residents.”
The federal government is contributing $760,000 and the provincial government is contributing $190,000, said Weiler at the press conference in front of the Lions Bay Fire Hall Tuesday morning.
The federal amount will be split and $400,000 will be for Lions Bay and $360,000 will be for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, he said.
Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, told The Squamish Chief that the provincial funding would also be split and $100,000 will be for Lions Bay and $90,000 for Whistler.
“The Lions Bay Emergency Building Upgrade Project will provide much needed additional training, equipment, and apparatus space for our emergency services, enabling them to increase their levels of service to our community and adjacent communities up and down the Sea to Sky Corridor,” said Mayor of Lions Bay Ron McLaughlin, in the news release.
Mayor of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Jack Crompton said in the news release, “We are grateful for this investment from the federal government and the province of B.C. into the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s fuel thinning program for Nesters Hill.”
**Please note, this story has been updated since it was first posted in order to explain what a fuel break is.