I am greatly concerned over the recent break down in communication between Minister Eby and the City of Penticton.
From my perspective it is important that BC Housing works proactively with the City of Penticton – as has successfully been done in the past with many projects over a long time frame. Unfortunately, in more recent times this seems to have changed.
One thing that has not changed is that Penticton was always promised full wrap around support services for those in supportive housing facilities or living at risk in other environments.
In my view, and from others I have heard from, these wrap around services still do not exit here in Penticton. It is a fact that Penticton currently has no publicly funded abstinence-based treatment beds. Penticton also does not have any publicly funded detox facilities.
For many struggling with addictions requiring those services there remains serious challenges to access them. This needs to change.
Now Interior Health has stated it will withdraw funding for Pathways Addiction Resource Centre. Pathways has created long standing relationships built on trust. It is greatly concerning to me that these relationships that provide critically important services could become at risk.
I am reminded these days of my fiercest critic, the late James Banko, who worked tirelessly to expose the many challenges created when Interior Health changed its relationship with the Living Positive Resource Society.
As James was able to effectively establish, it was exceedingly difficult to transparently see how those same services were delivered effectively by Interior Health. I believe Penticton’s most vulnerable who work with Pathways deserve to have a full understanding of what these changes mean to them and how these same services could be delivered in a way that builds upon the same level of trust that exists today. I continue to encourage citizens to share their views with me on this important subject.
If Pathways has made a difference in your life and you are comfortable sharing your experience please contact my office at 250-487-4400. Any information you share with an MLA office is always protected and confidential. I believe this is an important concern for our community.
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