West Kelowna wants to take rat problem to the province

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WEST KELOWNA – West Kelowna city hall has received so many rat complaints they want to ask the province for help.

Councillor Carol Zanon says she has received numerous phone calls about infestations around the city.

“Rats are an issue,” she said. “We don’t know if it’s a province-wide problem. Without a thorough understanding of the rats and the diseases they cause it’s difficult to establish a program … to control them.”

Councillors took the first step today, Feb. 14, towards understanding the scope of the problem in other municipalities by voting to ask the Southern Interior Local Government Association to ask the Union of B.C. Municipalities to lobby the Ministry of Environment for a province-wide solution.

Mayor Doug Findlater said he would welcome funding from the province but a personal story he shared highlights the responsibility he feels belongs to homeowners.

“We haven’t had (rats) in the house but we have had them in the garden shed,” he said. “I spent a weekend cleaning it up. I went trapping and successfully resolved it, as far as I know.”

In addition to seeking information from other Interior cities, the draft also lays groundwork for a future investigation into the causes of the problem as well as how best to resolve it.

The Southern Interior Local Government Association is a collective that represents municipalities and some regional districts in the Southern Interior. The local government association is part of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, which represents all municipalities on common interests.

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