FOLLOWING a week of intense heat and raging forest fires causing severe damage and loss of life, the BC Liberals on Monday called on Premier John Horgan and the NDP government to enact a provincial State of Emergency (SOE) immediately.
“We’ve seen how devastating and quickly these fires can move. It’s vital that B.C. is ready before more fires spark,” said MLA Mike Morris, BC Liberal Critic for Public Safety. “A provincial State of Emergency provides certainty that resources will be available to those on the ground and in need. For the sake of all communities facing wildfires right now, John Horgan cannot delay this important call any longer.”
Declarations of provincial states of emergency may be issued by the government under the Emergency Program Act (EPA). A provincial SOE applies to the whole province and ensures federal, provincial, and local resources can be delivered in a coordinated response to protect the public.
“B.C. has incredibly professional emergency workers, and those on the frontlines need a provincial government that responds quickly and effectively so that resources, staffing, and equipment, are never an issue when it comes to life-threatening situations,” said Morris. “The time for action is now. The Premier must enact a provincial State of Emergency to help protect the people and property at risk of wildfires immediately.”