BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
With the House of Commons rising for the summer, I have appreciated being able to travel throughout the riding and once again meet with residents and community leaders in person.
While virtual meetings have been an essential part of our lives over the past year and a half, nothing can replace being able to talk to someone face-to-face about their experiences.
Shortly after the severe windstorm on June 30, I was able to tour the communities of Blueberry River First Nations, Altona, Buick, and Prespatou, as well as the Red Creek area on mile 63.5 of the Alaska Highway to survey the damage and speak with some of the residents who have been affected.
Residents showed me the damage that had been done to their properties, including grain bins that had been tipped over or torn from their foundation, new home construction that has been destroyed, and buildings blown over with farm equipment inside. There is also extensive tree damage in the area and places where you can clearly see the storm’s trail of destruction.
The level of destruction is incredible and I want to thank everyone who took the time to talk to me about their experiences during the storm and for showing me around their properties. I also spoke with Peace River Regional District Chair Brad Sperling about the effort to clean up the downed trees in the area and have sent a letter to Premier John Horgan inquiring into what the province’s plan is for the trees that are on crown land.
Special thanks to Trudy Loewen for making me aware of the extent of the damage so quickly after the storm, and to Ernie Wiebe and Joyce Smith for touring me around the area. It has been great to see our friends and neighbours coming together to help one another.
I have also been in contact with Peace River North MLA Dan Davies and Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier about the province’s concerning wildfire situation. Thankfully, the situation currently seems to be under control partially due to precipitation in our area and I have been receiving daily status updates from the City of Prince George. I will be continuing to monitor the status of the wildfires in our area throughout the summer months.
As always, my offices are here to help where we can. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time.