Regional district to dissolve emergency program

The regional district is eliminating a program that provides financial assistance to organizations to buy emergency rescue supplies

The regional district is eliminating a program that provides financial assistance to organizations to buy emergency rescue supplies.

The Emergency Rescue Supplies Grant-in-Aid service started to lag after several communities chose to pull out of the joint program between all the electoral areas within the Strathcona Regional District.

Areas A, C and D had already opted out and when Campbell River decided to pull out in February, that left Cortes Island to bear the brunt of the cost.

“Other rural areas have opted out,” said Noba Anderson, Cortes Island regional director, at last Thursday’s board meeting. “I’m not interested in this just being a Cortes service. I think there is value in this being a regional service. I guess I would suggest that the service as presented be dissolved, much to my disappointment.”

The other directors agreed. Campbell River city councillors decided to remove the city from the program in February after learning taxpayers could be on the hook for $1.9 million, as the city and Cortes would be the only contributors to the emergency service. City Clerk Peter Wipper informed council in February that the city would be responsible for paying 94 per cent of the costs.

In the end, directors voted to disband the program. The city is still served by Search and Rescue as well as the Strathcona Emergency Program which provides services and support for residents hit by disaster.