Sicamous council voted in favour of the district donating $1,000 towards Red Cross relief efforts in Ukraine. (Canadian Red Cross/Facebook photo)

Sicamous council voted in favour of the district donating $1,000 towards Red Cross relief efforts in Ukraine. (Canadian Red Cross/Facebook photo)

District of Sicamous agrees to donate to Red Cross relief effort in Ukraine

‘My opinion is we may be half the size of Nelson but we want to have twice as much heart’

  • Apr. 1, 2022 1:00 p.m.

The District of Sicamous is joining the City of Nelson and other B.C. communities in supporting Red Cross relief efforts in Ukraine.

The recommendation to donate funds to the Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis campaign was prompted by a message from Nelson Mayor John Dooley, shared via email as well as on YouTube.

“We have made a donation of $1,000 to the Red Cross, and the federal government will match those funds,” said Dooley in the March 14 video. “Those funds will go to relief for Ukrainians that are fleeing the war in Ukraine.”

Sicamous Coun. Gord Bushell said the message kind of hit home.

“You forget about the Ukrainians that built Highway 97, that opened up the Okanagan, and they were in the camp out here…,” said Bushell, referring to two internment camps that existed at Two Mile and Six Mile (by Swansea Point) along Mara Lake between 1915 and 1917. “I think it would be a good challenge and thought it would be a good thing to request.”

After Couns. Colleen Anderson and Malcolm Makayev shared their support for the district donating $1,000, Coun. Jeff Mallmes offered his own challenge.

“You have to remember as a taxpayer that our leader, our fearless leader, Justin, he sent a wagon full of money… which is all taxpayers’ dollars as well,” said Mallmes. “So, I don’t disagree with helping them out but at the same time, we still apply for grants to get what we need to get done… The other thing of it is, $1,000 is going to do exactly what?”

Read more: $128 million raised for war-stricken people in Ukraine through Red Cross donations

Read more: A month in, Ukraine fights on, makes Moscow pay a high price

Mayor Terry Rysz argued for the donation, stressing Sicamous’ $1,000 would be in addition to donations from other B.C. communities.

“Do we feel this is necessary? I do,” said Rysz. “I feel what is happening over there is unbelievable. It’s concerning because a lot of my relatives are still there. So I’m in favour of $1,000 for this.”

Coun. Bob Evans also spoke in favour of the donation. Evans, the Shuswap Community Church pastor, said there are three members of the church who went to Poland to support and help feed refugees arriving from Ukraine.

“My opinion is we may be half the size of Nelson but we want to have twice as much heart, and I’d like to see $1,000 put towards this,” said Evans.

Rysz added it’s a humanitarian crisis, and “I know there’s a war going on, but it’s about the people and there’s literally thousands of people every day trying to seek refuge and safe haven.”

Council voted in support of the $1,000 donation.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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