Kamloops council talk wildfires, affordable housing and needles at UBCM

By Greg Fry
September 27, 2017 - 5:44pm

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Needles, affordable housing, and wildfires.

Those are just some of the issues Kamloops city council has raised while at the UBCM conference in Vancouver this week.

"We've had very good meetings with provincial ministers," acting Mayor Arjun Singh told CFJC Today Wednesday. "Obviously 15 minute meetings don't lend themselves to a resolution right away but we've made the Province aware of our issues."

He says one of those issues concerns this year's wildfires and the Province's plan to automate the evacuation registration process. Singh says the issue was of particular interest to Kamloops and the City of Prince George.

"We'll be hosting some debriefs and reviewing our wildfire response and find out what was good and look at things we had gaps with and learn what we can improve on."

Singh says he also raised the issue of a provincial strategy on needles.

"Yes, and though the minister didn't make any commitments one way or the other I know she heard our concerns and I look forward to following up with her in the weeks and months ahead....perhaps it will lead to funding for needle disposal boxes."

He says he also left a meeting with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson feeling optimistic when it comes to affordable housing.

"We'll essentially get some of the 2,000 modular units they're putting out for short-term units so we'll have to work out some land issues locally. So, hopefully it'll happen quickly."

Singh expects the issue of pot legalization will come up later this week. The UBCM conference wraps up Friday.

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