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Climate, emergencies in focus for Fraser Valley Regional District

Emergency response, planning for growth ‘front and centre’ in latest FVRD strat plan, says chair Lum
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Chilliwack Coun. Jason Lum, chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District board, is pictured on the roof of the FVRD building on Jan. 15, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Chilliwack city councillor Jason Lum was recently re-elected as chair of Fraser Valley Regional District board for his eighth consecutive term of office.

As he looks ahead to the future of the burgeoning region, Lum said that emergency response capacity has never been so “front and centre” along with planning for growth.

Regional response to emergencies and climate change figures prominently in the next iteration of the FVRD’s strategic plan, Lum noted, along with reconciliation efforts and building partnerships with Indigenous peoples.

They’ll also be talking more about the infrastructure and services required across the vast FVRD region to meet the growing population.

With “upward of 350,000 people right now, we’re one of the fastest growing regions in the province,” Lum said.

“We see growth all across the grid.”

FVRD comprises six municipalities and eight electoral areas, with Chilliwack and Abbotsford as two of the largest municipalities in the region.

“One of things I work had at as chair is to ensure the 24 board members that make up the regional district understand and are empathetic to the needs of both the rural and the urban areas, and the unique concerns of both.

“That’s probably one of the more nuanced challenges of being a regional government.”

Lum took the helm in 2016, taking over from four-term FVRD chair, Sharon Gaetz.

RELATED: 2020 marked 5th term of FVRD chair

A 24-member Board governs the Fraser Valley Regional District with eight Directors elected by Electoral Area residents and 16 appointed from municipal councils. FVRD Directors serve a four-year term on the Board and during this time, the Directors elect Chair and Vice-Chair positions each November. Elected Directors will serve in these positions for the next 12 months.

The FVRD board as well as Fraser Valley Regional Hospital Board conducted elections Nov. 23 for board chair and vice-chair. The board re-elected director Jason Lum as board chair and director Patricia Ross as vice-chair. The Hospital Board re-elected director Sylvia Pranger as chair and director Paul Horn as acting chair.



Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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