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.
< All input received

    Donna Burns, Dogwood Valley/Hope

    Dear Commissioners:

    My name is Donna Burns. I live in Dogwood Valley on the Trans-Canada Highway near Hope. I have lived in the Hope area for 15 years. I am a Canada Post employee and an activist for social justice.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express myself.

    The Fraser Canyon is having a tough time with the economy and government cuts to services such as hospitals, schools, highways, policing, etc. The closure of the JS Jones Sawmill in Boston Bar in 2002 has devastated the local economy in Boston Bar, Hope, Yale and Spuzzum. Its closure particularly hurt the Aboriginal people of our surrounding area.

    Communities in our area like Lytton, Lillooet, Merritt and Princeton are also seeing their resource base dwindling and federal and provincial government services being pulled out, like rural post offices, schools being closed, health care services pulled out and regionalized in other cities like Chilliwack, Kamloops, Penticton and Kelowna.

    These Fraser-Nicola communities are having the same social and economic problems that we are in Hope, Boston Bar, Spuzzum and Yale. We have had economic decline and its accompanying population decline all the way from Hope, through the up-river communities of Boston Bar, Yale, Lytton, Spences Bridge, Ashcroft and Cache Creek since the Coquihalla Highway opened in 1986. At the same time, contrast that with the city of Chilliwack, which is prospering and burgeoning with economic and population growth.

    Hope and the Fraser Canyon have more in common with the interests of our rural-based Fraser-Nicola neighbours to the east and north than we do with the larger urban centre of Chilliwack City. I see the big differences every day. They became magnified since Hope and the Fraser Canyon communities were yanked out of Yale-Lillooet, as Fraser-Nicola was known before, and forced to join Chilliwack in 2009 with no consultation with local people, no formal process. Local residents were greatly angered by that decision.

    The problems Hope and area face are being ignored, and we have a very tough trying to have our voices heard. The over-whelming voter base is in Chilliwack.

    Hope’s “community interests” lie with the other similar towns of Merritt, Princeton, Logan Lake, Ashcroft, Lillooet and Lytton and not with the much larger Chilliwack that always gets the ear of government before the up-river Fraser Canyon communities.

    I ask this Commission to put Hope, Yale, Spuzzum and Boston Bar back into Fraser-Nicola where we belong.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Donna Burns

    < All input received