Penticton News

Penticton city council to take aim at social issues at provincial municipalities conference

Penticton city councillors are looking for funding to deal with social issues in the city at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention this week in Vancouver.
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PENTICTON - Penticton mayor Andrew Jakubeit hopes a new NDP government will lend a sympathetic ear to the City’s requests for provincial funding for social needs.

The mayor and councillors are meeting with provincial ministers this week at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

It will cost city taxpayers an estimated $17,000 for Jakubeit and the six councillors to attend the annual conference which starts today, Sept. 25, 

“We have a new government that made a lot of promises to make life more affordable and safer for those who need it most. We won’t leave any stone unturned in our appeal to bring those promises home to Penticton,” mayor Jakubeit said in a media release.

City council will concentrate on affordable housing, homelessness, wellness, addiction and public safety in the several meetings with ministers confirmed so far.

A meeting with Mental Health Addictions minister Judy Darcy will see a request funding for a pilot project to create a low cost transitional housing solution that provides new and improved ways to reach those on the streets suffering from addiction and poor mental health.

Funding for a mental health liaison officer for the Penticton RCMP is also on Penticton councillors' wish list following the July 12 town hall meeting in which RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager talked of the need for police to work with other agencies in the community to provide people with the help they need, rather than throwing them in jail.

To that end, councillors will also be meeting with Public Safety minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth to discuss funding for a mental health liaison officer at the RCMP detachment. The funding being sought by council for the position would allow the officer the flexibility to move throughout the detachment’s catchment area, in order to address the transient nature of many suffering from mental health issues.

City council is also looking for funding support for a community wellness committee, presently in the early stages of development. The committee’s purpose is integration of the City’s social services in order to reach the people who need them.

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