Letter: Investing in people

City should look at social development manager

While it was an impressive wish-list on notice of motions presented at Tuesday’s city council meeting, I’m not sure how some of the councillors missed the points raised by Coun. Julius Bloomfield’s notice of motion that the city look at hiring a manager of social development to tackle homelessness and seniors issues.

I think we need to look beyond this as being homelessness and seniors’ issues. Homelessness is just one part of the picture because we can see it, but like a sore on a wound, we don’t see what is festering underneath the healing scar. These are issues that affect all of us, and this “festering” often has life-long impacts on individuals and their families, friends and communities, that can only be addressed in the communities where people live. Hopefully, with financial supports both provincially and federally.

As reported by the media, “While Bloomfield argued, “it’s time to start investing in people,” Couns. Katie Robinson and Jake Kimberley said the city should not take on provincial issues.

It’s unfortunate that investing in people is seen as a provincial issue. On the other hand, city council allows for $500,000 in lost taxes (on just one development) through Economic Investment Zones (EIZ), to encourage development. City council also goes all out for Ironman’s return but appears to bury their collective heads in the city’s sandy beaches ignoring those who call Penticton home, but only have a park as a bed. Penticton cannot live by tourism, wineries, brewpubs and sports tourism alone.

As I ride around on the city’s public transit I get to see the many wonders of what the city’s hundreds of workers have to offer as they make Penticton their home and places of work. As was demonstrated by the recent United Way Drive-Thru Breakfast, Penticton does care about those less fortunate, but we need to take this to the next level. With a social development staff, would the city council not then be better able to pull together the many issues affecting all of us, and partnering with the many elements, including Interior Health Authority (IHA) and the many non-profit organizations who work with the more vulnerable in our community? With the city council’s decision following last November’s municipal election, to cancel most of their Advisory Committees, possibly they missed the boat to engage the community, along with the city, on how to effectively and humanely work together to make Penticton truly a place for everyone, not just tourists and upper-income residents.

Fortunately, we humans are survivors, so we can build boats and start again. By investing in people, we will survive.

Brigid Kemp


Just Posted

Summerland takes the 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge

Take on Radon and the Summerland Healthy Community Initiative are partnering on the campaign.

Vees take 6-3 win against rival Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Vees’ Jay O’Brien and Lukas Sillinger both had multiple-point games.

Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider… Continue reading

Science Matters: Forming bonds in times of crisis

The climate and ecological crises touch each of us to varying degrees.… Continue reading

Give back this holiday season with SOWINS Share the Spirit campaign

Help women and children fleeing or living with abuse have a happy holiday

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read