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Cariboo Chilcotin MLA calls for rural infrastructure renewal fund

Lorne Doerkson said central parts of rural B.C. devastated by flooding, crumbling infrastructure
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson speaking in the legislature Monday, May 10. (Video screen shot)

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson is calling on the provincial government to establish a rural infrastructure renewal fund to tackle central parts of B.C. devastated by flooding and crumbling infrastructure.

In the legislature Monday, May 10, Doerkson made a private members presentation sharing a number of personal testimonies he has received from constituents hit hard by flooding in the riding.

Damage and situations are heart-breaking, he said, as he shared stories that included residents having to move out because they cannot use the water in their homes, about walls that are cracking or residents are exhausted with having to daily pump water from basements and yards.

Some residents have been unable to insure their homes or fix them, he said, noting they were only a few examples of what he is hearing every day from people in the riding.

“When it comes to the crumbling road infrastructure in our rural part of the province — I can assure you that is one thing to look at the level of destruction in photographs,” Doerkson said in the legislature. “But is quite another to see it in person and witness firsthand how people’s lives are impacted — right on their own property. Just in the past three years — we’ve seen how wildfires devastate the landscape in the summer. And by spring we see how this contributes to extreme freshets — and all the damage left in their wake.”

Doerkson is also calling for restoration of a minister whose sole responsibility is rural infrastructure, which he said was established previously under the former B.C. Liberal government.

“Local governments in rural B.C. cannot keep up,” Doerkson said.

Read more: I could hear the water roaring outside’: Williams Lake homes flood after snow, heavy rain

Read more: Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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