Opinion

MLA needs to check out his flood facts Barry Penner

Dear Sir:

I’m writing in response to an article in your publication on Sept. 26, 2007.

Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin needs to check his facts.

The Ministry of Environment’s Water Stewardship Division maintains two full-time staff in the Smithers office who are responsible for helping co-ordinate flood response in the Skeena Region.

These front-line staffers were deployed in Terrace during the 2007 floods. In addition, Ministry of Environment staff from other locations provided extra support to the Smithers office. We will continue to support flood response positions in the Skeena Region.

This government takes flood protection very seriously in all areas of the province, including the  Skeena region.

Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested nearly $1.5 million in flood protection projects for Terrace and the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District, including nearly $1 million this year.

This spring, these projects did what they were intended to do: protect public safety and property.

While these investments have provided additional protection, this government recognizes the need for a more structured approach to flood protection.

That’s why we are committed to working with the federal government to develop a cost-shared, long-term flood mitigation program for British Columbia to enhance public safety.

The success of any hazard mitigation program is dependant upon support from all levels of government, including local governments.

Working together, we can reduce the risks from flooding.

Barry Penner,

Minister of Environment,

Terrace, B.C.

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