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Questions remain


"Out of difficulties grow miracles." - Jean de la Bruyere


In the face of adversity, a community’s spirit is truly tested.


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of uncertainty, fear, and chaos, but with every dark night comes a bright day.


As we return to our homes, it’s essential not just to pick up the physical pieces but also to rebuild the spirit of our society, learning and preparing for the future.


A lion's share of gratitude belongs to the incredible heroes who were our first line of defence and support. The fire departments, working tirelessly, showcased not just their professional excellence but also a commitment that goes beyond duty.


Their courage was mirrored by countless volunteers who, despite personal losses and risks, stepped forward. Their selfless acts remind us that we are truly stronger together.


Their ceaseless dedication was the backbone of our emergency response.


It's heartening to witness the visits from Premier David Eby and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


Their presence isn't just a sign of support but a beacon of hope for the investments needed for Kelowna area's resurgence.


It's essential that these visits, filled with promises of support and financial pledges, translate into tangible actions and meaningful contributions.


As outlined by our Mayor, and the Chair of the RDCO, our community doesn’t just need temporary relief; we need a sustainable plan for prevention, preparedness, and rapid response for any future adversities.


As we navigate the aftermath, it's crucial to remember the lessons this catastrophe has taught us.


We need to ask some important questions like; Is there a better way to fight the fires? The unity displayed by all the firefighters was remarkable, but could we have used more resources, and could we have used them earlier?


Are we doing everything we need to in our management of our forests? What can we do to reduce the number of fires, and keep them at bay where they interface with communities?


How can we best support our community in evacuation? How do we expedite this process, and give more assistance to those that are out of their homes?


The volunteers were amazing, but the process was not able to accept the volume of evacuees in the timeframe necessary. We need to learn from this and move at a faster pace.


Preparation and community awareness are our best tools against future threats. Let’s champion investments in state-of-the-art firefighting equipment, robust emergency training for residents, and a detailed evacuation blueprint for every neighbourhood.


It’s imperative that we don't just return to normalcy but evolve into a society better prepared, more united, and profoundly grateful for the ties that bind us.


Our journey of recovery is just beginning, but with the heroes by our side and the lessons in our heart, there's no challenge too daunting.


My question to you is this:


What did you see or experience that BC needs to change about how this process was managed?


I love hearing from you and read every email.


Please email me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call the office at 250-712-3620.

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