About 60 used needles and many more empty packages and protective caps were found dumped behind a commercial building in Maple Ridge

Addiction, safety top urban wish list

Mental illness treatment, low-cost housing and new rent subsidies are priorities for local governments

Communities struggling to cope with addiction and mental illness are near the head of the line for their annual meetings with Premier Christy Clark and the provincial cabinet.

A plea for integrated treatment services to take some of the load from police and hospital emergency rooms is among the main resolutions for the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver Sept. 21-25.

B.C. communities are dealing with camps of homeless drug addicts, property crime driven by addiction and violence between drug gangs. The B.C. health ministry recently announced a program to train and equip front-line hospital staff to deal with violent patients in emergency.

Sponsored by Delta, the resolution says local governments have made repeated requests for help “without seeing any improvements in services or resources.” It calls for integrated health and psychiatric care, criminal justice reform and access to affordable housing.

Maple Ridge has two resolutions dealing with housing. One calls for Ottawa to maintain rent subsidy funding for cooperative housing developments, whose contracts are expiring over the next five years.

The other suggests federal incentives for developers to choose purpose-built rental housing, rather than condominiums and other housing for sale. Vancouver, where housing costs have spiralled beyond the means of many, wants the province to support rental housing and take action to reduce real estate speculation.

The Fraser Valley Regional District’s resolution on shelter allowances and rent subsidies notes that average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in B.C. is $953, and the provincial shelter assistance rate for an employable single parent is $375, unchanged since 2007.

Other resolutions:

• The Central Okanagan Regional District wants local government authority to lower highway speed limits passing through rural communities and neighbourhoods. Its resolution says Transportation Ministry’s decision to raise speed limits to 100 km/h on some highways last year is raising safety concerns.

• Oak Bay is the latest community to seek federal and provincial help to manage deer and other wildlife populations, after grappling with its own deer kill effort.

• Port Moody is calling on BC Hydro to keep the Burrard Thermal gas-fired generating station operational as a backup source of power, rather than shut it down next year. The resolution says standby operation would cost $20 million a year, compared to $55 million paid to keep a smaller gas-fired plant on standby near Campbell River.

 

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

22 teams compete in Sweetheart Curling Bonspiel

From February 9 to 11, the Sparwood Curling Club hosted it’s annual… Continue reading

Political theatre shines light on womens issues

The Vagina Monologues returned to Fernie last weekend for the second time,… Continue reading

Local rink heading to curling provincials

The Mens Masters East-West playdown took place in Sparwood from February 2-4.… Continue reading

Kootenay East MLA reacts to Throne Speech

Tom Shypitka says speech falls short of intended mark.

VIDEO: Traffic-sign abiding Fernie deer caught on tape

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

NDP Health Minister calls to offer woman seat on Interior Health Board

Joyce Beddow-Buckland of Ashcroft was surprised by the call, and accepted the offer.

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Most Read