New Westminster continues to forge ties with the Tsilhqot'in National Government.
Coun. Chuck Puchmayr, chair of the city’s emergency advisory committee, is pleased with the role New Westminster had in recently providing a Tsilhqot'in National Government (TNG) emergency operations training course in Williams Lake.
Piva Modern Italian Restaurant in New Westminster and Honour House president Alan DeGenova each contributed $1,000 toward the training, he said, and Bryan Larrabee, husband of Chief Rhonda Larrabee of the New Westminster Qayqayt First Nation, was the instructor.
“Eventually they are going to have a first-class operation,” Puchmayr told the Record. “They have a pretty good one right now but this is going to elevate that to a higher degree.”
According to Puchmayr, the goal is to help upgrade the emergency operations capacity of the Tsilhqot'in National Government by sharing resources and outfitting an emergency operations command in its catchment area. He said this will lead to self-sufficiency and will expedite emergency response in remote areas.
“New Westminster businesses and residents are now playing a role in reaching out to Indigenous communities in the Tsilhqot'in region, which will enhance and support the work being undertaken by the New Westminster City Council,” he said in an email to the Record.
The training took place at the Tsilhqot’in National Government offices in Williams Lake.
According to Puchmayr, the financial contributions helped pay for flights to Williams Lake, with residual funds going toward the purchase of vests for officials who will be working in the emergency operations centre.
Puchmayr said the City of New Westminster covered a portion of his expenses, as he met with Tsilhqot’in chiefs to discuss the sister city agreement that’s being arranged between the Tsilhqot’in and New Westminster.