Letters: Restore funding

B.C.'s emergency services needs financial help from province

st week, and what I believe is the other half of the story being ignored: the B.C. government has severely cut funds for emergency services all over the province, including the Sooke/Juan de Fuca region.

As a result, we have very few local folks, including RCMP, who can handle such emergencies; if they request help from other municipalities, they need to have those costs in their budgets. That’s why so many emergency services, including fire departments, are made up of volunteers.

So, the lack of response from emergency services on Thursday was not so much inbred incompetence, as being severely shorthanded, and without the means to have a regionally-coordinated response, their hands were tied.

The result was the same, however: all motorists, bus riders and other people were on their own to deal with the situation as best they could.

So, if anyone had a medical emergency, or needed to get home to small kids, or needed to get to their meds, or even go to the bathroom, no one was around to help, and many people were in areas without cellphone coverage.

And no one directed traffic, or provided information to those stranded for so many hours.  And one of the stuck motorists was the renter of the house which was on fire.

I urge you to investigate why emergency services in an earthquake/tsunami/wildfire zone would be cut by the B.C. Liberal government, and I encourage everyone to contact their MLA to pressure Premier Clark and the appropriate ministers to replace and increase these funds, and their MP as well.  Someone’s life could depend on it.

Helene Harrison

Shirley