Statement on Emergency Management

We are in an era of increasingly severe weather events that will continue to impact our city. I am ready to bring my experience and knowledge to the Mayor’s office to respond to emergencies and develop strategies for Kamloops to be pro-actively prepared.

I served as acting Mayor in the summer of 2017 during a very challenging wildfire season for the Southern Interior and the Province. I helped the community coordinate people’s incredible generosity to provide an exceptional evacuation reception centre for thousands of evacuees  . 

On July 1st 2021, I had just started as deputy Mayor when lightning hit the benchland between Juniper Ridge and Valleyview and started a large fire. Immediately, emergency responders were dispatched to put the fire out and to manage evacuation routes for residents who were evacuating en masse. 

My role that evening was to coordinate information flow between staff, emergency responders, and city council; and to relay information through the media to the public. As the Mayor, a Juniper Ridge resident, was evacuating himself and his family, I took on a much larger role than a deputy Mayor normally would.

After the fire, I also responded to dozens and dozens of emails, messages and phone calls from concerned residents and coordinated a briefing for council about the fire response. 

Since 2019, I’ve co-chaired a joint committee on emergency practices with both provincial government and BC local government representatives. The committee began as an effort to improve joint response to flood and wildfires and has since transitioned into an engagement venue for BC local governments on the coming update to BC emergency practices act. 

These experiences have given me a solid understanding of local government emergency management.