Both the Town of Smithers and Village of Telkwa have agreed to support a Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) challenge to the province’s new Financial Assistance for Emergency Response Costs guidelines.
The Ministry of Public Safety invited First Nations and local authorities to provide feedback on the revised guidelines by Feb. 28. The RDBN board tasked staff with reviewing the guidelines and responding.
The resulting letter is a 10-page laundry list of issues that was presented to Smithers and Telkwa councils at their respective regular meetings Feb. 23.
In general terms, RDBN had issues with guidelines on EOC operating costs; emergency operations reponse costs for evacuations; emergency supports services costs; recovery costs; eligible expenditures from the 2008 financial guidelines omitted from the new version; and deployment shift guidelines.
The response contains 22 specific items. For example, the RDBN wants to know why payroll expenses to benefits are no longer included as these expenses are still incurred by local authorities.
Both Smithers and Telkwa councils agreed unanimously to send letters of support the regional district response.