Andrew Wilkinson promises a BC Liberal government would expand Car 40 program in Kamloops

Libs would expand Car 40

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

The BC Liberals — if elected — would expand the Car 40 program in Kamloops

Leader Andrew Wilkinson made the promise this afternoon, alongside Todd Stone and Peter Milobar.

He said a BC Liberal government would inject $250,000 annually into the service, which pairs a mental health nurse with an RCMP officer as they respond to calls involving mental health situations. Right now, Car 40 runs Tuesday through Friday.

The funds would be delivered through the Interior Health budget, he told reporters.

"I think we all know that these issues related to mental health, mental illness, addictions, are no longer confined to quiet, dark corners in our communities. They're highly visible," Wilkinson said. "We're also seeing the effects of domestic distress; these things are often related to mental health issues, and as much as our police forces and public safety services do their best to manage these issues, they are often not entirely or even at all related to the criminal justice system, and having trained health-care professionals to assist and diffuse these situations, to get them into health and services... that's the goal."

Wilkinson said a fully funded Car 40 program will result in fewer issues ending up in the courts.

Many locals, including Kamloops resident Elisha Hamilton and Mayor Ken Christian, have called for an expansion of the service.

ORIGINAL: 2:55 p.m.

Andrew Wilkinson, the leader of the BC Liberal Party, is in Kamloops this afternoon for an announcement. 

Castanet will carry the 3 p.m. event live. 

Wilkinson, who will be joined by candidates Todd Stone and Peter Milobar, was in Merritt earlier today to make a number of forestry- and resource-related promises.

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