About 60 used needles and many more empty packages and protective caps were found dumped behind a commercial building in Maple Ridge

Addiction, safety top urban wish list

Mental illness treatment, low-cost housing and new rent subsidies are priorities for local governments

Communities struggling to cope with addiction and mental illness are near the head of the line for their annual meetings with Premier Christy Clark and the provincial cabinet.

A plea for integrated treatment services to take some of the load from police and hospital emergency rooms is among the main resolutions for the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver Sept. 21-25.

B.C. communities are dealing with camps of homeless drug addicts, property crime driven by addiction and violence between drug gangs. The B.C. health ministry recently announced a program to train and equip front-line hospital staff to deal with violent patients in emergency.

Sponsored by Delta, the resolution says local governments have made repeated requests for help “without seeing any improvements in services or resources.” It calls for integrated health and psychiatric care, criminal justice reform and access to affordable housing.

Maple Ridge has two resolutions dealing with housing. One calls for Ottawa to maintain rent subsidy funding for cooperative housing developments, whose contracts are expiring over the next five years.

The other suggests federal incentives for developers to choose purpose-built rental housing, rather than condominiums and other housing for sale. Vancouver, where housing costs have spiralled beyond the means of many, wants the province to support rental housing and take action to reduce real estate speculation.

The Fraser Valley Regional District’s resolution on shelter allowances and rent subsidies notes that average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in B.C. is $953, and the provincial shelter assistance rate for an employable single parent is $375, unchanged since 2007.

Other resolutions:

• The Central Okanagan Regional District wants local government authority to lower highway speed limits passing through rural communities and neighbourhoods. Its resolution says Transportation Ministry’s decision to raise speed limits to 100 km/h on some highways last year is raising safety concerns.

• Oak Bay is the latest community to seek federal and provincial help to manage deer and other wildlife populations, after grappling with its own deer kill effort.

• Port Moody is calling on BC Hydro to keep the Burrard Thermal gas-fired generating station operational as a backup source of power, rather than shut it down next year. The resolution says standby operation would cost $20 million a year, compared to $55 million paid to keep a smaller gas-fired plant on standby near Campbell River.

 

Just Posted

Firefighters battling two blazes on Highway 1 south of Ashcroft

Highway has reopened to single-lane, alternating traffic led by a pilot car so expect delays

Fires on Highway 1, CN mainline keep Ashcroft firefighters busy

Two vehicle fires and a rail fire sparked within an 11-day span

Reports on seniors’ needs, downtown show way forward for Cache Creek

‘I hope they won’t gather dust’ says Cache Creek mayor

Counselling support available for those impacted by wildfires

New, confidential, free service in region designed for families or individuals

Local News Briefs: Come out and rock

Join Rawkn’ Art Camp participants as they show off their accomplishments, and stay for a concert

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read