NEWS file photo - Parksville City Council directed staff to arrange a meeting with the medical health officer for central Vancouver Island in regards to their proposed bylaw that would restrict distribution of clean hypodermic needles within the city.

NEWS file photo - Parksville City Council directed staff to arrange a meeting with the medical health officer for central Vancouver Island in regards to their proposed bylaw that would restrict distribution of clean hypodermic needles within the city.

Parksville council looks to meet with medical officials over needle distribution bylaw

Council directs staff to organize meeting with Hasselback and ministry

Parksville city council voted Monday to receive the results of their needle distribution bylaw consultation and directed staff to look at setting up a meeting with the medical health officer for the central Island, Dr. Paul Hasselback.

Council initially wanted to just receive the report for information, but chief administrative officer Keeva Kehler requested further instruction be given to staff.

Mayor Ed Mayne said the report from Hasselback contained quite a lot of detail that needed to be looked at in order to make adjustments to the bylaw. Mayne said he was fine with initially receiving the report, and then going back to staff in order to “work around points to come up with something that is a little bit clearer.”

READ MORE: Medical health officer urges Parksville council to seek legal advice on proposed needle bylaw

However, Kehler requested specific direction from council as to the next step that staff should take. Kehler said she understands that a lot of changes would have to be made in order to make the bylaw acceptable to Hasselback.

Consultation with a medical health officer is mandatory in B.C. for municipalities looking to enact bylaws that deal with the delivery of health services.

Coun. Adam Fras suggested that staff continue with the consultation process, and arrange a meeting with Hasselback, certain council members and perhaps the Minister of Health in order to work through the necessary changes to the bylaw.

Several council members including Coun. Teresa Patterson, Coun. Marilyn Wilson and Coun. Doug O’Brien voiced their support for Fras’s motion.

O’Brien said it seems, based on the results of the consultation, that the bylaw would need a complete rewrite.

READ MORE: Parksville council advances proposed bylaw to regulate distribution of needles

O’Brien cited the fact that the bylaw as written could cause issues on what he described as very serious legal grounds, and that it “could be construed as nullifying harm reduction plans by the medical officials.”

“I feel that we have to look at this… to actually have [Dr. Hasselback] assist in the rewriting,” said O’Brien.

Mayor Ed Mayne acknowledged that the bylaw and the consultation are on what he deemed “extreme ends” of policy belief in regards to needle distribution.

“We’re a long, long ways apart here,” said Mayne.

Mayne is concerned that harm reduction tactics are coming at the expense of some Parksville citizens, citing claims that four people had been pricked by inappropriately discarded needles in the city.

He also expressed his desire for Minister of Health Adrian Dix to be present at the proposed meeting.

• The city experienced technical difficulties with video playback of the Nov. 4 council meeting.

According to manager of communications Deb Tardiff, it is unlikely the video will be able to be recovered, and will not be available online to watch as is usually the case.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Donna Hales next to one of her paintings of Sooke. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Donna Hales still displaying her work at age 94

Current exhibit at the McMillan Arts Centre through April 1

(Philip Wolf photo)
WOLF: What’s in a name (2.0)? Parksville offers interesting list of dog monikers

List includes Rembrandt, Swayze, Zorro, Fabio, Fonzie and Yoda

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer trailer, camera, tools, cigarettes and cleaning supplies

Parksville, Nanoose Bay feature prominently among 226 complaints to Oceanside RCMP

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

The south coast of B.C. as capture by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (European Space Agency)
VIDEO: Images of B.C.’s south coast from space released by European Space Agency

The satellite images focus on a variety of the region’s landmarks

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Nelson society raises $400K to save regional park from logging project

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Most Read