Photo taken Aug. 7, 2018 of the Island Lake Fire burning through Francois Lake Provincial Park. (Facebook/John Calogheros)

B.C. Premier’s Awards to civil servants who were key in 2017 flood, fire relief

The premier’s office says staff at the centre demonstrated outstanding performance, teamwork and dedication to public safety during both emergencies.

British Columbia’s civil servants who helped lead the emergency response to severe flooding and wildfires in 2017 have been recognized for their efforts.

The premier’s office says in a news release that the employees are among the recipients of the annual Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards.

Emergency Management BC’s regional operations centre in Kamloops became the response and recovery hub during 2017 floods that devastated large sections of the Okanagan, and wildfires that charred huge swaths of woodland forcing thousands from their homes.

The premier’s office says staff at the centre demonstrated outstanding performance, teamwork and dedication to public safety during both emergencies.

Other award winners include civil servants who helped create a first-of-its-kind program using sports and physical activity to improve the health of Indigenous people, and staff members who implemented the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan along the so-called Highway of Tears.

Premier’s Awards were launched in 2004 and are considered the most prestigious recognition for provincial public servants.

Premier John Horgan says he is honoured to present the awards to such extraordinary and dedicated workers.

“Public service employees are the driving force making government better for every British Columbian. Their hard work and commitment to innovation makes this province a better place for us all,” Horgan says.

Individual winners include Nanaimo Correctional Centre assistant deputy warden Christine Bootsma in the emerging leader category for developing programs to support inmates and their families.

BC Prosecution Service Crown prosecutor James MacAuley, and Ministry of Finance assistant deputy minister Elan Symes are named in the legacy category.

Each is honoured for three decades of achievement; MacAuley for his work on environmental justice cases and Symes for meeting the needs of taxpayers in the digital age.

The Canadian Press

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