More finger pointing

Last Wednesday, the House of Commons rose for the summer and will not resume until the fall. I look forward to spending more time in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, instead of the “Ottawa bubble”. This also means I will begin my summer listening tour to hear first hand from my constituents. I’ll largely do this by going door-to-door and going to various community events.

A critical issue I addressed in my June 5th report is the denial of funding from the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Funding (DMAF) program for the 2021 flood-affected communities of Merritt, Princeton, and Abbotsford. Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss this concern on CBC Radio in Kamloops. As expressed during the interview, the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Funding program seems pointless if it does not provide funds for communities that have suffered from disasters and urgently need resources to ensure the safety of these communities.

I recently met with a federal Liberal Minister involved in this matter. The Minister demonstrated a clear understanding of the issue, explaining why he believed the funding for these communities was rejected, and what in hindsight could have been done differently for a better outcome. He indicated that he was of the opinion that the province should play a larger role in resolving this issue.

From my communities’ perspective, this speculative ‘could have, would have, should have’ response is both unacceptable and extremely frustrating. The primary reason we have ministers federally or provincially is to provide leadership and direction, and to ensure the effective delivery of taxpayer-financed programs for the benefit of all Canadians. I won’t name this Liberal Minister because I don’t believe that intensifying partisan politics will solve this problem.

There has been some ongoing finger-pointing between the provincial NDP government and the federal Liberal government on this matter. I find, along with those constituents who have contacted me on this, that this blame game is unproductive and not yielding the results necessary for these communities.

This week, I received a copy of a letter from the provincial NDP government to the Prime Minister. The letter outlines several ongoing provincial issues where they believe more federal leadership is necessary. In this letter, the province asks why the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Funding program was denied to Merritt, Princeton and Abbotsford.

In Ottawa, I have also filed an order paper question, requesting the details on why these same communities were denied funding assistance from the DMAF program.

As the Member of Parliament for these communities, I refuse to accept the denial of DMAF funding to Princeton and Merritt and will not relent on this until we have answers and accountability from our federal and provincial governments and land on a positive solution.

My question to you this week:

Do you think it is pointless to have a Disaster Mitigation and Adaption fund if it doesn’t help those communities hard hit by disaster? Why or why not?

I can be reached at or call toll-free 1-800-665-8711.