The Cariboo Regional District has applied for a legal injunction to require the city of Williams Lake to honour its pre-referendum offer to provide fire protection services to fringe area residents and to ensure that those services cannot be terminated.
“We have a court time for about 9 a.m. this morning in Vancouver,” CRD chair Al Richmond said Friday. “That just means our solicitor is in court at that time, that doesn’t mean we’re going to be heard or not. There’s a possibility they could put it over to Monday.”
The Cariboo Regional District issued a statement late Thursday saying it has not received formal notification that fire protection service will be extended into the new year.
At this time the city’s only offer to extend the service is based on the Regional District agreeing to enter into a short-term contract at the maximum amount that can be raised under the terms of the referendum, A CRD press release stated.
“Our primary focus is to ensure our residents receive uninterrupted fire protection services to keep them safe and protected into the New Year. With a looming deadline of Dec. 31, the Christmas season upon us, the possibility that many snowbird residents are completely unaware that their fire protection services may be in jeopardy, and the demonstrated lack of commitment of the city to honour previous offers, the Regional District felt forced to act to secure that safety,” the press release noted.
Richmond said it’s unfortunate it’s happened.
“This is the same agreement we negotiated in 2011, but it never got dealt with before the election. It was worked out with the previous committee, but it never got to council.”
Hopeful the CRD will have an answer soon and residents will be able to breathe easy over the Christmas holidays, he added.
“The city will not be making any comments at this time about the fringe fire agreement, ” Mayor Kerry Cook’s executive assistant Heather Silvester said Thursday.