Stilwell offers Parksville assistance with mental health resources, provincial funding

Council briefs: Security cams, library funding, trails and an unsightly property

Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, has offered her assistance to Parksville council in accessing grants and provincial funding for improving mental health and addiction services.

“Members of our community have recently expressed concerns relating to issues of public safety, homelessness and discarded sharps in public spaces,” states Stilwell’s letter. “I am aware council has held a committee of the whole meeting to address the overarching issue of public safety and I also know there are community organizations and agencies who are already accessing government funding and working collaboratively to address issues like homelessness.

We need to continue to ensure that funding and resources made available through [the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions] comes to this community and one of my roles as MLA is to help community access grants and provincial funding. I have requested a meeting with the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy to discuss the issues this community is facing and see what resources or community funding might be available.”

RELATED: Council briefs from the June 3 regular meeting

Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Master Plan

Vancouver Island University and the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute presented the final Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Master Plan. Council approved the plan in principle and directed staff to create an implementation strategy for the recommendations.

The VIU consulting team conducted the project by doing a parks and trails assessment that included looking at all the parks and trails in Parksville and then doing an inventory of all the assets. They then hosted eight public engagement events and combined their research and feedback to create 99 recommendations for a 20 year time period for council consideration.

RELATED: VIU students to present Draft Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Master Plan to Parksville council

Unsightly property

City staff were directed to undertake clean-up of an unsightly property at 440 Craig St.

This property has been the source of complaints since early March regarding the unsightly nature of the property, including unlicensed vehicles and accumulating refuse in the front and back yards. The property owner was verbally notified on multiple occasions and also received a letter advising that the current condition was contrary to the property maintenance and zoning bylaws.

Library funding

Council passed a motion to request that the Government of British Columbia fund libraries by adding $20 million to the 2019 budget and ensuring libraries receive sustainable financial support in subsequent years.

Coun. Teresa Patterson brought forward the motion after attending a Vancouver Island Regional Library board meeting.

“Libraries in British Columbia provide open and equal public resources including the internet, public computers, digital library tools and in person service from expert staff to provide opportunities for all British Columbians to access knowledge and information and increase literacy in our communities,” Patterson said. “Provincial library funding has remained virtually stagnant for the last 30 years.”

Patterson requested the City of Parksville endorse her resolution moving forward to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention.

Security camera rebate program proposed

Coun. Mark Chandler introduced a notice of motion for consideration at the June 17 meeting to implement a security camera rebate program.

“Over the last while, council has been receiving information from members of the community and the RCMP that crime is increasing in the community. The city itself has experienced several recent vandalism events,” Chandler said. “The RCMP are indicating that because of the rise in crime, the security systems and high-quality CCTV cameras are the key way to deter any of these issues and provide opportunities to successful prosecution.”

Chandler said council should be supporting responsible citizens who wish to take control over the safety of their home and business.

“Recognizing there is a cost to doing this, I would like to propose the following notice of motion; the City of Parksville implement a security camera rebate program coming into effect July 2,” Chandler said.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

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