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Sicamous, Splatsin councils hold groundbreaking ceremony for $10 million healing centre

Healing centre to rise

Sicamous and Splatsin councils gathered Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony as construction on the $10-million Shuswap (Secwépemc) Healing Centre is set to begin.

Council members attended the ceremony along with Sicamous Mayor Colleen Anderson and Splatsin Kukpi7 Michael Christian. North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold and Rhona Martin, CSRD Electoral Area E director, were also in attendance.

Anderson said she was excited to see construction finally begin.

“It's been a long time coming, and we're really excited and happy that our partners are here and it's been a vision for so long and now it's finally coming to fruition,” Anderson said.

“It's going to benefit our community so much. And our community is growing, so it's really important.”

Christian said he was also happy to see the project, at 200 Main Street, get underway.

"I think it is great, it's one of those honours that have been passed on from previous councils to this council,” Christian said. “I think it's awesome that we're finally getting somewhere. Next time we're here, we're going to be opening the doors.

"We're actually doing a lot of things with Sicamous, and plan on doing more things with Sicamous. I think the future's looking brighter for all of us, not just Splatsin, but all of us," he added.

Initial planning for the Shuswap Healing Centre project began in 2018. Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.

Total costs for the project are budgeted to be about $10 million, with 80 per cent of the funding coming through grants administered by the provincial and federal governments.

The remainder of the funds will come from municipal reserves.

Sean Fraser, federal housing minister, issued a statement recognizing the groundbreaking ceremony.

“Having access to high-quality health services is a top priority for many Canadians,” Fraser said.

“For those living in rural and remote communities, having access to these services close to home is equally as important. That is why we are proud to have supported this project with an investment of more than $3.5 million from the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream, as it will make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of residents in and around the District of Sicamous.”

Anne Kang, provincial minister of municipal affairs, also issued a statement commending the District of Sicamous, Splatsin té Secwépemc and Interior Health for their partnership which will "make this health and wellness hub a reality."

“This is a leading exemplar of allocating the Growing Communities Fund you have received from my ministry, addressing an important community need with everlasting impact," Kang said.

The completed Shuswap (Secwépemc) Healing Centre will be the future home of the Sicamous Community Health Centre, as well as other physical and mental health services.

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