B.C. ‘In Awe’ of Wildfire Response in P.G. – Dix
Prince George, B.C. – Newly minted B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says he’s “in awe” of the response to the wildfire situation in Prince George and Quesnel.
He made the comments this morning following a tour of the College of New Caledonia where he got a first hand look at what the medical response has been to the crisis.
“What I wanted to do today, principally, is to come up and thank all the healthcare workers, the care aids, the LPNs, the nurse practitioners and of course the doctors and the administrators,” said Dix.
“All of those people working for Northern Health who are volunteering, bringing food to people up at UNBC…Really what I want to do and why I’m here – it’s my first trip anywhere as minister of health – is just to celebrate the people who work in Northern Health, in Interior Health – who have done a spectacular job.”
He added the same could be said for everyone in Prince George – a city that has taken in over 10,000 wildfire evacuees.
“I just want to celebrate the City of Prince George and I think at every level – the volunteers, the city, the mayor, the community, the Red Cross – what you’ve seen here is something that not only should be recognized, but celebrated for a long time.”
Dix was also asked why Premier John Horgan hasn’t been to Prince George to visit since the wildfire crisis started.
“I’ll tell you where he is – he was in Ottawa yesterday meeting with the prime minister on softwood lumber and dealing with the wildfire issue,” he said.
“He’s in Washington dealing with softwood lumber which is critically important to Prince George. You know he’s going to be here. But every single day from moment one, this was priority one and everybody should know that.”
He was also asked if the new government plans to expand the $100 million earmarked for wildfire response announced in the dying days of the BC Liberal government.
“John Horgan has been premier for a very short period and this has been the number one priority every day for all of us and so we’re going to provide the support that’s needed,” he said. “We’ve been directed to provide any assistance we can.”
Aside from his visit to CNC, Dix said he also plans to visit the Gateway Residential Care Facility, where 90 wildfire evacuees from the Cariboo have been staying.
He also plans to visit Quesnel soon – where there are approximately 1,200 evacuees – but says he won’t go to Williams Lake and 100 Mile House until it’s appropriate to do so.
Dix said to show up any earlier would be “getting in the way.”