The annual Union of B.C.Municipalities convention is underway in Victoria and delegates will spend much of the week attending meetings and debating resolutions.
Of the approximately 150 resolutions to be debated by municipal and regional district delegates, one I will be watching closely asks for provincial assistance in getting funding for rural fire departments.
Lack of money is a major challenge for small volunteer fire departments, and a potential solution lies in federal gas tax funding. However, fire protection isn’t currently eligible for such funding, so rural fire services have to largely fend for themselves when it comes to major projects such as constructing fire halls or daily necessities like equipment.
The resolution, which originated with the Electoral Area Directors Committee of the TNRD, was endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association and submitted to UBCM. It asks the provincial government to lobby the federal government for amendments to the Federal Gas Tax Agreement that would add fire protection to become eligible for funds.
I’ll report back on the outcome of the resolution, which is as follows: