Supreme court rules City of Revelstoke must continue providing fire services to CSRD

Fire protection services to parts of CSRD Area B adjacent to the city will continue until June 1, 2018. Next steps will include mediation between the city and CSRD.

A map of the rural Revelstoke fire suppression services area. Photo:CSRD

A BC Supreme Court judge has ruled the City of Revelstoke must continue providing fire protection services to adjacent areas of Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area B. The CSRD had filed an injunction seeking continuation of fire services past a Dec. 31 deadline.

Supreme court Justice Andrew Mayer ruled today that the city must continue to provide fire protection services until June 1, 2018. The two government bodies had been unable to come to an agreement over continuation of fire services despite months of negotiations.

“We have an opportunity to ask for mediation to move forward with discussions,” CSRD Area B director Loni Parker said in a phone interview with the Mountaineer. “Hopefully this time we will be successful in tying to find an agreement that works for the city and the CSRD.”

Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee also said he looked forward to continuing to work towards an agreement that is fair for the city and CSRD.

“From my perspective I’m glad fire protection is being continued so that the residents are safe,” he said.

Parker said next steps will include looking at hiring a mediator to help the city and the CSRD move forward with discussions.

The CSRD is planning a public meeting for affected residents in the next few weeks to discuss options available for continuing fire suppression services after June 1, 2018.

The City of Revelstoke responded to the Mountaineer’s request for information on Saturday Dec. 30 via a media statement. Revelstoke fire chief Rob Girard and Allan Chabot, city of Revelstoke chief administrative officer were both in attendance at the Supreme Court hearing in Vancouver. According to the statement both Girard and Chabot feel Justice Mayer gave careful thought and was mindful of the city’s concerns in granting the injunction.

“Both Chief Girard and Mr. Chabot have indicated that they would be pleased to attend any public meeting convened by the CSRD and/or Area B Director Parker to explain the city’s position to the residents of the specified area,” read the statement.