Editorial – Don’t forget the rainy day fund

Richard Froese

The so-called “Wet Coast” is sure living up to its nickname!
British Columbia has been devastated by flooding after heavy and steady rainfall in the past month. Images of flooding in the Fraser Valley show the extreme damage to roads, homes, farms, land, businesses and other buildings.
It has long been said that you can’t control the weather. November is the rainy month of the year in the Lower Mainland and other interior parts of the province.
From one extreme to another, the weather has caused havoc in B.C. in 2021. Where was any of that rain in the dry summer when temperatures reached 50 C in some areas and wildfires were rampant? One wildfire wiped out most homes and buildings in the small village of Lytton.
Fast forward four months, about 60 km to the east, the City of Merritt was evacuated as water flooded the area.
Many lessons of life can be learned from such devastating disasters. Whether hit by fire or flood, extreme weather can do so much damage. Many times, houses and the contents are lost and gone forever. It can all be taken in a moment without any warning to help people save what they want.
It reminds everyone about what life is really all about. After all, the homes, and material possession; it’s just stuff.
Remember the old saying, “You came into the world with nothing and you leave with nothing.”
People and lives are what really matters. Stuff can be replaced, at least some stuff.
But the life of a loved one can’t.
Another surreal image was the bare shelves in many grocery stores as transportation routes were cut off and prevented trucks from delivering food and other necessary items. Even with short supplies of food and fuel, some selfish shoppers still hoarded.
It reminds everyone to not just think of themselves. Other people need food and fuel. Don’t be greedy.
Even as rains continued in the last week of November, the challenges to rebuild seem insurmountable. It will take months for some places in B.C. to get back to some sort of normal life.
Already, it has taken a lot of time and money to recover and rebuild major infrastructure. Provincial and federal governments have doled out millions of dollars for relief from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past 18 months. Hundreds of millions more, if not billions, will be spent to rebuild.
Taxpayers wonder where the money will come from as government digs deeper into a bottomless pit.
Will it mean higher taxes?
Does it mean cuts to programs and services?
As more weather disasters are projected in the coming years and decades across Canada, everyone has to prepare for the worst.
Don’t forget to add to the proverbial rainy day fund.
No one knows when it will be needed.

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