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Mayor Baker has ‘great meeting’ with premier on completing flood work

Grand Forks Mayor Everett Baker is feeling confident about completing flood mitigation work after a meeting with the premier on Tuesday.

A Grand Forks delegation is at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Vancouver and met with David Eby.

Also at the convention are Couns. Deborah Lafleur, Christine Thompson, Zak Eburne-Stoodley, RDKB Area D Director Linda Kay Wiese and CAO Duncan Redfearn.

Baker says they talked with the premier about money to complete the last two segments of flood protection in South Ruckle and around Rockwool.

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“His comments were kind of what I expected, you know, you’re one of many that are in line this year (given the fires and flooding). But I felt confident and I suspect that we’ll be able to reach out to some grants and see the work completed and the funding I believe will be here,” Baker said in an interview with Vista Radio.

Flood mitigation work wasn’t the only thing discussed with Eby.

“And we talked about the boundary expansion that we’re looking at for Grand Forks, to extend the municipality and the housing that will provide, so it was a really good meeting,” Baker said.

The group also met with ministry staff with mental health and addictions. Baker says he congratulated the government on changes to the decriminalization pilot to ban possession within 15 meters (49 feet) of playgrounds and water parks. “I think that’s a very positive step. We hope that they would do more and include parks in that but we’ll wait to see what the legislation (says) in the fall.”

The mayor is looking forward to two more meetings this week with the transportation and health ministers to talk about transit, future improvements to Highway 3 and the hospital E-R situation.

Grand Forks did not bring anything forward at the question-and-answer session with the government nor are there any resolutions submitted by the city. But Baker says they will support other resolutions from other B.C. municipalities on health care and substance abuse.

“We have a good working relationship with (the) government that, if and when we have concerns, we can bring them forward and seek answers.”

The UBCM conference continues through Friday at the Vancouver Convention Center.

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