A training session held by Central Okanagan Search and Rescue shows members checking out layers of the snow pack. - Image: Facebook/Central Okanagan Search and Rescue.

Marijuana Party member starts fundraiser for search and rescue groups

Brynn Jones, from Kelowna, posted a message and a fundraiser to his Facebook page

A Kelowna based Marijuana Party party member wants to drum up support for the Search and Rescue Society of British Columbia.

Brynn Jones posted a message on Facebook, saying “I spent about an hour today speaking to the director of search and rescue of British Columbia about how we as the party… can assist. One of the things we want to address is that we are representatives of the people, we represent you, the people, and we feel strongly that the lack of funding to these types of services… is unacceptable.”

Search and rescue operations have never had a secure funding source, he said, adding the services often rely on grants for funding.

Through his Facebook page, Jones has started a fundraiser.

“This is something that’s very important, regardless of whether it’s a political issue or social issue,” he said.

Edward Henczel, communications officer with Central Okanagan Search and Rescue, said they’re still optimistic as Search and Rescue Society of British Columbia is having conversations with the province.

READ MORE: Busy year for Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

“We’re hoping we don’t have to hold bake sales and such to buy gasoline,” Henczel said.

Funding for the Central Okanagan Search and Rescue comes from the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, grants and by their own fundraising efforts.

Over the past three years, the rescue group received $67,000 annually from the province for its operations.

In 2016 and 2017, the provincial government announced two one-time grants of $10 million and $5 million for the BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) to be shared between 80 SAR groups.

There were hopes this year’s budget would include a long-term funding model for search and rescue, as proposed by BCSARA in 2015.

However, there was nothing in the B.C. Budget 2019 for BCSARA and SAR groups have been left scrambling with current funding to run out March 31.

READ MORE: Concerns rise as B.C. search and rescue funding set to expire

The uncertainty comes amid increasing demand for search and rescue services in B.C.

The 80 SAR groups across the province are now responding to upward of 1,700 incidents every year, which is more ground SAR callouts than in the entire rest of Canada.


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Happy hour, dance party fundraiser for Central Okanagan Food Bank

Local musicians perform a virtual concert on June 5

New restaurant set to open across Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Diner Deluxe has had some setbacks, including a pandemic, but they’re ready to welcome guests

Central Okanagan school buses to remain parked through the summer

The board of education made the decision to nix bus services on Wednesday

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Motor trike crashes into hole in Ellison area

A man was taken to hospital after crashing his trike on Anderson Road

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Summerland amends procedure for virtual council meetings, adding transparency

During COVID-19 pandemic, meetings have been held using online technology

Most Read