Fires, infrastructure, government among topics discussed with MLA

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart hosted her first coffee session on July 14.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart visited Hope last Friday to speak with local residents in her first Coffee and Conversation event held at the Blue Moose Coffee House.

Tegart said attendees expressed interest in the wildfire situation in the northern part of the riding as fires spread northbound and eastbound from near the Ashcroft Indian Reserve, putting Clinton and Deadman Creek on evacuation alert respectively. Thousands have been evacuated and homes have been lost in the reserve as well as in Boston Flats, according to Tegart.

“There has been no vacation so far, and no vacation for lots of people in my area,” said Tegart. “It’s absolutely horrendous.”

As a result, her schedule has been filled with visits to evacuation centres such as in Kamloops and helping to supply water and food. She said Nestlé has offered water and delivery if necessary.

Attendees also wanted to know about the process of transition of governments, which will happen on Tuesday. Tegart said they are committed to doing it as “seamless as possible,” adding that the state of emergency takes precedence.

The transition means Tegart will serve as an opposition MLA for the first time.

“The bottom line to me is I’m a constituency MLA, and I’m one who has built relationships from people with people from all walks of life who sit wherever in the House,” said Tegart.

Attendees Ray and Pat Daws said they found Tegart to be “very approachable, friendly, and has a pretty good handle on what’s going on.”

“Of the four candidates who ran in the last election, she tops them all,” they said.

Tegart also spoke with mayor Wilfried Vicktor and chief administrative officer John Fortoloczky. Vicktor said they spoke about the Othello Road upgrades, which the District of Hope has submitted a grant application. The District is seeking a multi-million dollar replacement for that roadway.

Vicktor also spoke to Tegart about the 753 Water System, which needs major upgrades. Vicktor said he discussed the idea whereby the District would take over the system simulatenously as they receive a grant, noting that this requires discussion with council.

Vicktor also spoke about home value assessments. He said residents in the Kawkawa Lake area had “extraordinary increases” which the District could not do anything about.

Read the full story in the July 20 edition of The Standard.