Burns Lake tragedy fund gets committee to decide its spending

The fund has been growing fast but a society to govern it was struck only this month

A meeting to elect a committee to decide the fate of monies being collected under the umbrella of the Burns Lake Tragedy Fund took place February 16 at the College of New Caledonia in Burns Lake.

The fund has been growing fast but a society to govern it was struck only this month to get a focus for managing the fund, according to a member of the fund’s management committee.

“We’ve been working really hard the past couple weeks on getting that criteria committee happening,” volunteer Terry Dickson said.

She said the criteria committee would be chosen at their general meeting on Febuary 16. Then the newly minted committee will start taking suggestions over the next few weeks from groups and the public to see where the money would help the most, Dickson explained.

“We need to make sure we’re not duplicating other efforts (of government organizations and service clubs),” she added, noting some former Babine mill workers have moved on to other employment.

Dickson noted the criteria committee will be looking to the community to give them input into what parts of the community are being most affected and give clues as to who may be needing assistance outside what the workers are entitled through WorkSafeBC and Employment Insurance benefits.

She added they are hampered by privacy laws to contact workers about their needs, and the mill workers and their families will have to register by an application process through the new committee to be in line for any of the funds.

“We believe the urgent needs have been met,” Dickson said.

 

People are invited to visit the tragedy fund’s website to leave comments to view information at criteria@burnslaketragedyfund.net