June 17, 2021, Victoria, B.C. — On June 17, Ken Hardie, member of Parliament for Fleetwood—Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, minister of infrastructure and communities, and the Honourable Mike Farnworth, British Columbia’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, announced funding to upgrade 10 fire halls across the province. They were also accompanied by Ron Richert, fire chief for the city of Quesnel.
Upgrading fire halls will improve critical services to residents through more efficient facilities and reduced response times. These upgrades also help meet seismic requirements and operational needs in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. Furthermore, investing in essential facilities will extend these buildings’ service life.
Among these projects, the city of Quesnel will undergo renovations to bring the facility up to current building and accessibility codes and standards, and increase the lifespan of the building by 15 to 20 years. These upgrades will provide a change room for female firefighters, increase the size of apparatus bays, increase public safety, decrease occupational hazards, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
In the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, the deteriorating foundation of the fire hall building will be replaced. The existing foundation condition puts the fire hall and public works building at risk of further damage and limited operations. Once the structural foundation is replaced, the building will be better able to provide continued service operations.
In Thompson-Nicola, both the Vavenby and Blackpool Fire Halls will undergo construction of an additional apparatus bay to safely house a Structural Protection Unit (SPU), a large storage unit for fire protection equipment. These types of SPUs help respond more quickly and effectively, and to help protect assets such as individual homes, cabins, ranches and other businesses.
The Government of Canada and the province of British Columbia are investing over $8.8 million in these projects through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 community resilience stream. Canada is contributing over $7.1 million, and B.C. is contributing more almost $1.7 million.
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