Local MLAs demand government hand over wildfire information

CARIBOO – Local MLAs Coralee Oakes, Jackie Tegart and Donna Barnett are putting the pressure on the provincial government to expedite Freedom of Information (FOI) requests concerning information that many property owners desperately need to help rebuild homes and other structures that were damaged or destroyed by wildfires over the summer.

“I have stood up in the Legislature three times during Question Period and asked the government to get their act together and speed up the process so that people can start to rebuild their lives,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “Like many others, my constituent Dave McNab has been forced to file a Freedom of Information request at a cost of $5,000 to get documents detailing what actions had been taken to protect his property. It’s been months now and the government is at a standstill. It’s not fair and I am not giving up until the McNab family and others can get on with their lives.”

Dave McNab lost five properties including his sawmill due to wildfires. Oakes first raised the matter during Question Period in the Legislature on September 18th and followed through with two additional questions on October 16th and 19th.

“I have also risen in the Legislature and asked the government why nothing is happening,” said Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart. “I can’t imagine how devastated people must feel when they have lost virtually everything and their government is refusing to act. There is no way we are going to let the minister off the hook until these people get the help they need.”

“The McNab family is going through tremendous stress because of the uncertainty caused by government inaction,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “They are not alone and many more families are facing the same situation. I can’t understand why the government and the Minister of Citizens’ Services, Jinny Sims, is leaving these people hanging in the balance. This is totally unacceptable on so many levels.”