In the week leading up to Christmas, I had the opportunity to host a Christmas Open House at each of my offices in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Prince George. I’ve always enjoyed these open houses because they give me a chance to catch up with folks over coffee and delicious Christmas treats.
It was great to see so many people come out to say hello and help spread some Christmas cheer throughout the week.
A personal highlight for me was at the open house in Prince George when I had the honour of presenting Irwin Karrer, Constable Calvin Aird, Constable Mark Freeman and police service dog Kash with Certificates of Recognition for their efforts in finding and safely returning four-year-old George Benoit to his family in Mackenzie after he was missing for nearly 31 hours in the woods near Lions Lake in August.
Although we recognized four individuals for their direct efforts, we can’t thank enough the hundreds of volunteers from the community, the many search and rescue teams, the BC Wildfire Service, the Mackenzie Fire Department, and the RCMP who were all instrumental in the overall effort to bring George home safe.
As a father of four, I can remember feeling an enormous sense of relief when I heard the news that George had been found safe and sound. I know everyone in Mackenzie, and throughout the region, felt the same way.
At Christmas, we are especially thankful to everyone who helped give George’s parents the ultimate Christmas gift.