Column: Investing in our airports and communities

Community and regional airports are vitally important to our rural communities.

Community and regional airports are vitally important to our rural communities. Locally, the Williams Lake Regional Airport serves many important functions. In addition to commercial flights the airport services helicopter, aircraft maintenance, medevac, corporate, and general aviation operations.

I was thrilled to present the airport with $150,000 recently as part of our B.C. Air Access Program, which sees our government cost-share with public airports on development projects. The grant will be used to upgrade storage tank capacity and related infrastructure, to meet changed federal fuel facility regulations — and it’s also important for our local fire suppression efforts.

And that point is timely, given that the BC Wildfire Service regularly battles fires including the recent one southwest of Williams Lake at the junction of Mosley Creek and the Homathko River. With the summer temperatures heating up, it’s a good reminder to everyone to be fire smart and avoid sparking a blaze.

There are steps each of us can take to reduce the risk of a wildfire threatening our homes and livelihoods. The first tip is the most obvious, and the most frustrating when we see it ignored—and that’s to never discard a lit cigarette. Countless wildfires are caused by this type of carelessness. Meanwhile if you’re enjoying a campfire, extinguish it properly and never leave it unattended.

Around the home, remove any debris on your property that could be easily ignited by sparks and embers. If you’ll be doing yard work, ensure your lawn equipment has a working spark arrestor fitted to prevent sparks from exiting through the exhaust pipe. Be careful not to let backyard burning and grass fires get out of control. And never pile firewood against your home, as this is a major fire hazard. Keep it a safe distance away from the people and possessions you hold dear.

Meanwhile, the new Cariboo Fire Centre at the airport continues to take shape. It replaces the old centre and is slated to be completed this fall. Let’s all do our part to keep our wildfire crews’ workloads to a minimum and protect public safety.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cariboo Regional District has launched a broadband survey for residents, businesses and organizations. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
CRD launches internet, cellular services survey

Residents, businesses and organizations invited to give input

Bexie Blake of Miocene celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday, Nov. 27. (Photo submitted)
Miocene woman celebrates 100th birthday at home within her bubble

Elizabeth ‘Bexie’ Blake said she looks forward the time when she can receive hugs in person

Staff at the Boys and Girls Club of WIlliams Lake and District organize a donation from Lake City Secondary School for the youth food bank. (Photo submitted)
Christmas cheer on the menu at Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District

A number of things are in the works, including a winter wonderland

Email your letters to
Weed removal only a band-aid solution

Aren’t aren’t we talking about why there are weeds in Williams Lake?

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read