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Letter to the editor: Port Hardy councillor responds to Kervin’s Corner

‘Our Council will always choose to work with and support anyone who wants to see a better community’

Dear Editor,

Re: Kervin’s Corner (editor’s note – click the link to read Thomas Kervin’s column on a rehab centre being needed for the North Island)

Thank you, Thomas, for paying attention to your community and recognizing problems where they exist.

The District of Port Hardy Council has and will continue to take issues of poverty and mental health and substance abuse extremely seriously. You are correct; we often see these issues arise in our community every day.

We would also completely support the call for a rehab centre. However, please do not understand our support for the creation of such a centre as the only actions we have taken.

As I am sure you know, the issues of poverty and mental Health and substance abuse are complex issues. No one agency will, nor in fact, will only one level of government, be able to address these issues adequately. Our current Council and the Council preceding us have worked hard, in conjunction with other agencies, like the Mount Waddington Health Network, the RCMP, Vancouver Island Health, First Nation’s groups, the Salvation Army and a number of Provincial Ministries, to address many of the issues we see in our community and many that are not so visible.

I am sure you are familiar with many of the following initiatives, but it’s worth noting them as they do important work for people in our community. Our Council was very much an active part of local and regional groups that saw resources put in place to help people struggling in our community.

We owe much to Mayor Parnham and last council for their work to build and establish the Primary Health Care Centre. We worked with local, regional and provincial agencies that instituted the Integrated Case Management Team who are on the front lines of working with people mental health and addictions issues. We have supported the establishment of Sobering and Assessment beds and the longer term Recovery Centre beds. There has been an increase in the number of spaces for the Women’s shelter.

Recently we have worked with very committed groups to see a Housing First strategy implemented in our community. Housing First recently received funding to safely house more members of our communities. Council participated, worked with and supported these initiatives, and more.

We are also working to give youth and adults healthy recreational activities in which they can participate. We went to a referendum to ask people in the community if they were willing to support the creation of a new recreational multiplex.

We are an active Council and we choose to remain active. We have seen improvement in services in our community – there is much to do. Our Council will always choose to work with and support anyone who wants to see a better community for everyone who lives here.

Rick Marcotte,

Fred Robertson,

Councillors for the District of Port Hardy

* The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the North Island Gazette. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us to contribute to the discussion. But please remember to keep it clean!

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