On June 15, 2018 a Joint Press Release was issued by the presidents of the local Liberal and NDP constituency associations.
We the undersigned, as the Presidents representing our respective party’s Constituency Association for Boundary Similkameen (BC NDP and BC Liberal) wish to present the following statement to our community.
We met today to discuss the response to the disastrous flood that has devastated our community and with a focus on the discussion taking place in its aftermath.
We both wish to express in the strongest possible terms to our parties’ supporters and all citizens in this region to engage in discussion in a compassionate and balanced manner. We understand that emotions are justifiably running high and that this can lead to conflict as people desperately seek the answers and assistance that they require.
We both agree that in particular, those who were not directly impacted by the flood have a duty to maintain a calm and supportive tone and to seek and share accurate information instead of speculation and rumours.
We believe strongly that people experiencing the most dire need will be best served and comforted by this approach to discussion. Both of us are working tirelessly with our respective parties, within our respective volunteer positions, and with our friends and neighbours in the community.
We are committed to making use of our positions to advocate relentlessly on behalf of meeting the extraordinary need our community is currently experiencing.
We both believe that this community can and will come together in the weeks and months ahead, just as we did during the worst of the active flood. We have no doubt that Grand Forks will bounce back stronger than ever.
Respectfully Everett Baker President, BC Liberal Boundary Similkameen Riding Association Ian Mitchell President, Boundary Similkameen BC NDP Constituency Association
There was another Public meeting in the gymnasium at Grand Forks Secondary School on Wednesday night June 13.
Officials from the various agencies were on hand (along with local government) to give an update on the efforts so far and what to expect in the future. And of course to answer questions. Even a representative from the Insurance Bureau of Canada was present. (This was the same day that the Premier of the province, John Horgan was in town. He wasn’t scheduled to appear at this meeting and did not.)
How did it go? I’ll leave that to you to decide . . .
My apologies to those who ‘tuned in’ to the live webcast for the atrocious audio at the beginning of the event. That has been corrected and future events shouldn’t have the same problems.
The recent flooding disaster affected not only residents but businesses as well. It’s a month on and a number of downtown businesses are still evacuated from their premises. Some will be able to return sometime during the summer once restoration work is done but others have a tougher and longer wait – with the worry that some of these buildings might have to be destroyed.
This creates a lot of anxiety and hardship because most businesses cannot go 3 months of interruption and still survive. So what can the business owners expect to happen? And what can the community do to help prevent losses and facilitate recovery?
It turns out that people here in Grand Forks have connections that lead to people who were part of the team that got High River, and its business community, back from its historic flood disaster 5 years ago. In their case over a thousand businesses had to be evacuated among the myriad of other issues facing them. But they persevered and as a result High River has been able to recover and be stronger (and better protected) than before.
Two of those people mentioned above happened to be attending something nearby in Kelowna. These are Angela Groeneveld and Todd Williams. From Angela’s bio:
Angela also has extensive experience in Business and Economic Disaster Recovery. She was on the ground through all phases of recovery experience combined with professional education to assist local businesses to recover and rebuild after natural or manmade disasters. Some of her projects include; building Canada’s first temporary business park to house businesses that lost their storefronts to the 2013 flood; transitioning the businesses through the phases of recovery. She was then called to share her expertise in partnership with EDA and Red cross to assist in the initial stages of business recovery during the Fort McMurray fire. Angela is a facilitator for the International Economic Development “restore your economy” training. Angela currently is working with the Puerto Rico Economic Development Director on business recovery and contracts to the Town of High River on the last phase of recovery.
Todd Williams was the Project Manager for all these projects and grants related to rebuilding and renewing the business community of High River.
They were able to change their schedule to visit Grand Forks and see for themselves the situation. They talked with some of the people in affected businesses, made connections with the local government and business support groups.
The Boundary country Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted this Open House for business owners so they could hear what Angela and Todd had to say and ask questions.
(please excuse the audio issues at the beginning of the meeting – it gets better)
It’s been nearly a month since the major flood event and people in the two hardest hit parts of town are slowly working through the aftermath as best they can if they can.
Officials from local government and the Emergency Operations Centre are holding public meetings with residents in the areas affected.
I’ve tried to attend and record these meetings.
The first was in North Ruckle Friday June 8 at 4 PM. You can watch that below.
The third meeting is on Saturday afternoon in Johnson Flats.
The second was in South Ruckle and once that video is available it will also be watchable here. The reason for the delay is my fault: I ran out of battery on my main camera (lost the spare I brought), then ran out of memory on the cell phone I switched to. I recorded the last part with a third camera (360 video) but the audio might need adjusting to be able to hear some of the questioners.
Okay, for the reasons stated above the video is in two parts. Part 1 is below.
The second part is a 360 degree vr video so please don’t expect too much in the quality of the video or the audio (I have tried making people without microphones more audible but the whole thing gets a bit noisy)
The Johnson Flats meeting: (if this video is being shown as if it is a VR video I apologize. it isn’t and was not intended to be but somehow YouTube thinks it is. I’m working on fixing that)