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Politicians call for stand alone Mental Health and Addictions facility in the north

Close to 30 resolutions were passed at this year’s North Central Local Government Association convention in Dawson Creek, including one that could provide help for those suffering from mental health and addictions.

Quesnel City Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg says it revolved around getting a stand alone mental health and addictions facility in Prince George.

“That would provide access to treatment and support services for Northern BC.   Rather than having to send so many of our people down south, we actually keep them in the north close to friends and family and community.”

Other resolutions that passed included a request to reconsider the provincial sales tax surcharge of 5 percent on fossil fuel combustion systems.

“What we are asking them to do is reconsider paying that because the climate in the north, including the inefficiencies of electric heat pumps and heating northern homes when temperatures drop to -20 or below, it’s really tough right ?  We’re kind of paying the price for living in the north inadvertently through things like their fossil fuel tax.”

Roodenburg says a Cariboo Regional District resolution also passed.

“It was about asking the province to provide timely clarification support and involvement of local governments regarding expectations and requirements of local governments in advancing commitments to reconciliation and Undra (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act).  So while we still have to fill our statutory obligations under relevant provincial legislation, it’s about understanding our roles for Undra etc, but also providing us some supports so we can make sure that we do it right.”

Roodenburg says that would likely include some financial support.

Other resolutions that passed revolved around economic development, land-use, the environment, and community safety.

These resolutions will now go the Union of BC Municipalities convention in the fall before being forwarded to senior levels of government.

The North Central Local Government Association convention wraps up tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Files from George Henderson, My Cariboo Now

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