EDITORIAL – Lessons to learn from the overdue state of emergency

Mike Farnworth. (Image: Govt of BC)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

AFTER MUCH RESISTANCE, the provincial government has finally declared a state of emergency, effective today, due to the wildfires consuming the Interior.

According to Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the decision “ensures federal, provincial and local resources can be delivered in a co-ordinated response to protect the public.”

Well, gosh, that’s what a growing chorus of leadership groups and the general public from this part of the province have been telling the government for at least two weeks. Until now, the answer has been that all necessary resources were being provided without need for a state of emergency.

Warnings from on-the-ground responders that B.C. is woefully short of firefighting personnel and resources, and the serious shortage of accommodation for evacuees, fell on deaf ears in Victoria until yesterday.

But, says Farnworth, the state of emergency will secure the necessary spaces should a mass evacuation become necessary. While Farnworth had doubled down on the NDP government’s refusal to declare a state of emergency only the day before, his rationale now for doing what should have been done in the first place is that we’re in for more bad weather.

More crummy weather coming? Thanks, Captain Obvious.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9357 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Lessons to learn from the overdue state of emergency

  1. Ken McClelland // July 22, 2021 at 12:45 PM // Reply

    The NDP has very little need to look beyond Hope. With a few exceptions, their voter base is on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island….”we’re good here in Victoria, good luck with your fires…”

  2. Marcus Lowe // July 22, 2021 at 9:26 AM // Reply

    Or was it the combined efforts of the First Nations submitting a written demand?…

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