Message from Mayor Peter Robb

April 02, 2020

On behalf of Council and staff, I wish you and your families are keeping safe and managing your way through this crisis.  Circumstances continue to change daily in regards to COVID-19, its affects, government responses and public concerns.  However one thing remains constant – we must continue to undertake all the personal and community safeguards we can.  The virus will eventually reach Hope (if not already) and by “flattening the curve” we will be best be able to address the need for health services.

Both the Federal and Provincial Governments continue rolling out new programs to support individuals, families and businesses so as to weather this storm.  The District continues to support our community by working with the Provincial Government and health authorities by assisting in the enforcement of Health Orders and taking action to reduce the spread of the virus.  District bylaw personnel are working directly with Fraser Health and the RCMP to maximize compliance with these orders. On a good note, last Friday Fraser Health undertook an inspection of 65 locations in Hope.  All of them passed and these inspections will continue into the future. If you have concerns related to activities you feel pose a health threat, please call District Hall.  We will ensure these are looked into.

The Province is now allowing flexibility on how Councils meet and conduct legislative business. As a result, Council will also resume meetings (via teleconference) to continue with important urgent business only.  For example we will continue working to adopt the budget by May 15th and consider deferrals of some fees/charges along with the application of penalties in 2020. We continue to lobby the Provincial Government to consider deferring when municipal property taxes are due.

AdvantageHOPE, the District’s economic development and tourism agency, is working hard with business to support them in accessing government support programs.  This includes contacting individual businesses, distributing surveys to best identify gaps in support, and updating program information and important application procedures upon which our local businesses rely.

The District Emergency Operations Centre remains open and active.  Various District and community stakeholder representatives meet regularly (via electronic means) to get updates and plan for measures required as the situation develops. Residents should rest assured that the District is being proactive in working with its community partners, the Fraser Valley Regional District, and the Provincial Government as we all get through this together.

For any information regarding the District and COVID-19, please go to our website www.hope.ca and select the COVID-19 tab.  It is important you get the information directly from the source.  Please also call District Hall at 604 869-5671 with your inquiries.  We will also continue to place public information in the Hope Standard and push information out via social media. 

Council would also like to thank all the healthcare providers; doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. for all their hard work and dedication.  They are placing themselves in harms way to look after our personal and community health.

Finally, please treat each other with respect and kindness.  Don’t hoard.  Keep practising social distancing. Stay in touch with your neighbours or friends you know would like a supportive phone call and maybe assistance.  Our community will often have disagreements among itself over certain issues, but when it comes to COVID-19, we are and must continue to support each other.

Mayor Peter Robb