Kamloops council requests minister meetings to discuss social issues, funding asks

City wants Victoria meetings

Kamloops city council has requested meetings with five provincial ministers to discuss topics including healthcare staffing, a mental health court proposal and detox beds.

If the requests are granted, the meetings would take place during the Union of BC Municipalities convention held in mid-September.

Mayor Ken Christian announced the requests in a council meeting on Tuesday, June 28.

“I put that out there for the public so that they know that the lobbying efforts of this council are still alive and well, and that we have requested these,” Christian said.

“This is not to say that we have been granted these meetings, but it does mean this is the ask based on the solicitation for a request by the government for ministerial meetings.”

Council has requested a meeting with Sheila Malcolmson, minister of mental health and addictions, about Car 40 and detox and treatment beds. If granted, this meeting will be led by Coun. Dale Bass.

A meeting with Minister of Health Adrian Dix has been requested to discuss Royal Inland Hospital staffing and doctor shortages. Mayor Ken Christian would lead the meeting.

Council has asked for a meeting with David Eby, attorney general and minister responsible for housing, to discuss a proposed mental health court for Kamloops and accountability for BC Housing. Coun. Bill Sarai would lead the meeting.

Coun. Sadie Hunter will lead a meeting with Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure, discussing the redirection of taxi saver and supplement funding.

Taxi vouchers provide a 50 per cent subsidy towards the cost of taxi rides for those with mobility challenges who are unable to access handyDART buses.

In the past, Hunter has raised concerns about the low number of accessible taxis available to transport Kamloops residents, pushing for another handyDART bus for the city instead.

Council has also requested a meeting with Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport to discuss funding requests for a performing arts centre and two upcoming sporting events — the 2023 Memorial Cup, and the 2023 Scotties. Coun. Mike O’Reilly would lead that meeting.

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