It was another busy day for Penticton city council at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver, as they met with multiple ministries within the government and advocated for the city’s needs.
According to a news release, council attended various forums including meeting with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Hon. Mike Farnworth, where council requested that the ministry and/or solicitor general review the RCMP Police and administrative support strength provided to unincorporated communities which are served from officers stations in multiple detachments. The purpose is to ensure they are meeting the mandate to uphold public safety.
Council also sat in on the mid-size community forum which focused on steps towards reconciliation with B.C. First Nations, approaches to Indigenous partnerships and included several successful case studies.
While meeting with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addicitons and Hon. Judy Darcy, council requested that the ministry expedite their work on the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy to provide mental health and addications care early, close to home and sensitive to Penticton’s needs. They also requested that the ministry work with Interior Health to identify potential solutions to the ongoing crisis, including psychiatric hospital beds.
“Community safety was captured as a key concern in the 2019 Citizen Survey and has been identified as one of three critical council priorities for 2019 through 2021,” said Coun. Julius Bloomfield in the news release. “Tuesday we met with the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy, who promised more treatment solutions locally for those who are suffering, as well as the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Hon. Mike Farnworth, who signalled more forthcoming support for the RCMP.”
Council also attended the semi-annual meeting for the Municipal Finance Authority of B.C., which was created in 1970 to contribute to the financial well-being of local governments throughout the province. The release elaborates that the authority pools the borrowing and investment needs of B.C. communities through a collective structure and is able to provide a range of low-cost and flexible financial services regardless of the size of the community.
Finally, members of Penticton council attended the UBCM Community Excellence awards, which recognize and celebrate UBCM members that have implemented projects and programs that demonstrate excellence in meeting the purposes of local government in B.C. The release states the awards are designed to profile promising practices and to create successful pathways and incentives for others to follow. Categories for these awards are: Excellence in Governance, Excellence in Service Delivery, Excellence in Asset Management and Excellence in Sustainability.
The UBCM convention runs until Sept. 27.
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