Opposition Liberals grill New Democrat responses to wildfire recovery, heat wave

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VICTORIA — British Columbia's Opposition Liberals say the lives and livelihoods of communities, citizens and businesses devastated by summer wildfires are being kept needlessly on hold.

Fraser Nicola Liberal Jackie Tegart says Premier John Horgan's pledge to rebuild the community of Lytton following last June's wildfire that destroyed the community has failed to materialize.

Tegart, whose riding includes Lytton, says it has been 99 days since the fire and most people in the village are still living in hotels and have no information about rebuilding or a possible return date.

Horgan told the legislature during question period that efforts are underway to bring together private, municipal, non-government and Indigenous groups to plan Lytton's future.

The Liberals also criticized the government's plans to assist residents in the Monte Lake, Kelowna and Vernon areas who also lost homes in wildfires as well as ranchers who are waiting for the government to replace destroyed cattle fences on Crown land.

Jennifer Rice, the government's parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness, said last week that B.C. lost 343 homes this summer to wildfires.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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