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Public Hearing for 2022 Chilliwack Financial Plan – 6PM Tuesday January 18 – Firefighting a Top Priority

Chilliwack – The City of Chilliwack will hold a public hearing on the 2022 Financial Plan at 6PM Tuesday January 18 at Chilliwack City Hall. It will be live streamed on the City’s YouTube Channel.

A 2.99% property tax increase is on the agenda to cover costs and projects heading into the new year. The breakdown from the city’s agenda:

Inflationary and non-discretionary 1.27%
Service Level Increases * 1.68%
equals – 2.99%
* Service Level Increases
 3 RCMP Members
 5 RCMP Support Resources
 1 Fire Inspector
 2 Firefighters (flexible schedules)
 Transit – service expansion

Climate action and improvements at Townshend Park and Yarrow Community Park are also in the report.

Chilliwack Firefighters Association Local 2826 were pleased with increases to the firefighting budget:

“The Chilliwack Professional Firefighters Association (IAFF Local 2826) would like to thank the citizens of Chilliwack for ranking “fire protection” as their top priority on the City of Chilliwack’s recent online public engagement survey.

We greatly appreciate that the City has committed to adding two full-time firefighters and one inspector this budget. These however are not extra positions in response to the public survey. These positions had been previously scheduled in the Fire Department’s plan that tops-out at 48 full-time suppression firefighters. These additions will have only a small impact on our low staffing levels – which continue to fall further behind the population growth of one of the fastest growing municipalities in BC.

For many years we, Chilliwack’s full-time firefighters, have been advocating for industry standard staffing levels (https://youtu.be/G9qmMhtNGEs) to provide safer and better services to our community. Departments have found that this standard is met with a ratio of roughly 1 full-time firefighter per 1000 residents. This means with approximately 110,000 residents, Chilliwack would have about 110 full-time firefighters instead of the 40 we currently have.

We encourage you to review the proposed budget (https://www.chilliwack.com/main/attachments/Files/2101/2022%20Financial%20Plan%20Presentation%2Epdf)”

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