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

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read