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.

Just Posted

Former Kelowna hockey player dies after battle with ALS

Mitch Wilson was born in Kelowna and was 57 when he died

Toddler sustains serious injuries after falling from Rutland balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment on May 18

Witness says Kelowna man on trial for murder admitted to the killing

Steven Pirko is charged in the killing of Christopher Ausman in 2014

Bus pull returns to Kelowna with record 17 teams

Teams of eight people will pull a BC Transit bus for their community on May 25

Search for missing kayaker turned over to West Kelowna RCMP

A 71-year-old man’s kayak floated ashore on Friday

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

North Okanagan tests out two $10/day childcare sites

Katrine Conroy came to Vernon to tour universal child care prototype sites, including the one at Maven Lane

Penticton sets cap of 14 cannabis stores, removes buffer zone

The city previously relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit number of stores

Bucking bulls return to Okanagan raceway Sunday

Bull Riders Canada returns to the South Okanagan with some of the top riders in Canada

Okanagan city to give out fines for sitting on sidewalk

Residents of Penticton will soon be fined for sitting or laying on sidewalks

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read