Previous Public Input Received
The following input and submissions were gathered by the commission through public hearings held in 29 communities throughout B.C. from September to November 2014. The public also provided input through the online submission form, by email and by mail to be reviewed and considered as the commission develops a Preliminary Report for further public input.
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Posts

    Beverly Kreller, Hope, BC
    2014-11-16

    To Whom It May Concern,

    My name is Beverly Kreller and I am a 33 year resident of the town of Hope and a recent retiree from the career of nursing. I have worked in our local Fraser Canyon Hospital for the past 33 years and watched the decline of many services from our community wash down the river to Chilliwack and beyond. Hope is being stepped on and our people are in great need of the many services taken away but now have to travel, at their own expense, to obtain these services which is their tax paying right.

    Hope and the Fraser Canyon do not belong in Chilliwack-Hope. That experiment has been a big failure for the people who live in the Hope, Yale and Boston Bar area.

    We used to be a part of Fraser-Nicola when it was known as Yale-Lillooet. When our area was torn away and added to Chilliwack it was shocking and upset everybody in town because the people had no say in the decision. The Mayor and Council of the District of Hope did not ask anyone’s opinion. It was at that time that Hope lost it's individual identity and got swallowed up by Chilliwack.

    Chilliwack is an urban community, much bigger than Hope and its surrounding area. Our opinions don’t count in Chilliwack-Hope because all the votes and political clout rests in Chilliwack. We also don’t receive the same amount of attention from our MLA who is based in Chilliwack.

    In the past, when Hope and the Fraser Canyon were a part of Yale-Lillooet, containing similar-sized and like-minded communities such as Merritt, Princeton, Lillooet and Ashcroft and we all mattered. When Yale-Lillooet was created in 1966, no matter what political party the MLA was from – Social Credit, NDP or Liberal – they all paid equal attention to every small community. This is not the case any longer, as Chilliwack receives all the attention from government and most of the government grants and programs. Our services like schools, health care, policing, etc., are being pulled out and regionalized in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

    Chilliwack and Hope live in two very different worlds. Chilliwack has a robust economy based on agriculture and a housing construction boom. They deal with urban development and growth management issues. Meanwhile, Hope, Yale, Boston Bar and the Sunshine Valley are dependent on the resource industries, recreation and transportation. We have stagnant growth and our communities are in survival mode, desperately fighting to keep our public services from being further eroded. Our problems are the same as what the other small, rural communities in Fraser-Nicola are witnessing. Our historical linkages are all with communities to our east and north.

    Hope, Merritt, Princeton, Lillooet, Lytton, Cache Creek and Ashcroft all share the same topography, history, economy, and static/dwindling populations. Chilliwack, on the other hand, is growing rapidly; between 2008 and 2014 the City of Chilliwack’s population grew by over 14,000. Fraser-Nicola is 23,187 persons (or 42.65%) below the provincial Electoral Quotient. It is totally justifiable to add Hope and the Fraser Canyon back into Fraser-Nicola again where they rightfully belong.

    I hope that this Commission will rectify the wrong decision that was made in 2008 and join Hope and the Fraser Canyon back with Fraser-Nicola.

    Thank you.

    Beverly Kreller



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