It has been 14 months since fire destroyed much of Lytton.
There are five groups of people that are interested in seeing Lytton rebuilt and that need information: those who lived in the Village of Lytton, the Indigenous community that lived on the reserve, those Indigenous people who lived close to the village, those of us who have called Lytton our hometown and CP and CN.
I am among the fourth group. My mother was one of the original daughters of the first Loring family that settled in 1866 in the Botany valley. I started my schooling in Lytton in 1945. I was 11 years old in the summer of 1949, when Lytton lost three of four blocks of the town to fire. I do not think it took more than two years to rebuild.
Each year in May, I visit the graves of my Loring family and my mother and fathers in the Lytton cemetery.
During my short visit to the village on Sept. 1 of this year, I discovered a complete lack of information about the rebuilding plan, time schedule or any information about who was in overall charge of the construction of the village and reserve.
Neither the provincial or federal governments have provided any information to the public about what is being done, other than indicating some money has been allocated for the rebuild.
The security personnel at the reserve said there is nothing being done on the reserve and thought that the downtown area was being addressed first — even though there were no signs of Matcon Environmental debris removal personnel working there.
The village lost two museums and the village hall. On my visit, I wished to find out who was responsible for gathering any historical information that the public could provide to the museum and village office. I am a member of the Loring family and I have many original letters and photos of the family that would be helpful in restocking the museums and village hall.
I know of many former Lytton families who also would like to know how to donate items for these civic projects.
Whenever a company wishes to get permits for developing a project or building, it submits plans showing what it wishes to build. The company also provides visual drawings and technical details with enough information for all concerned parties’ comments.
Surely our provincial and federal governments have had more than ample time to submit their plans, schedules and budgets for the rebuilding of Lytton. The interested five groups or people only want some visual information on what our governments are doing. They need information so they can plan when they will be able to get back into their homes, schools, village offices, restaurants, motels, etc.
The Indigenous community needs someone to provide them with factual visual information about their school and community hall are rebuilt. They need their homes.
A temporary office in Lytton right now would be able to answer questions, would it not?
The major question from me: Who is in charge? Victoria or Ottawa? Presently, there seems to be no one in charge.