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Posted on: October 26, 2021

Board Advances Proposal for North Shuswap Health Centre Funding

North Shuswap Health Centre

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Board voted to take the first step to support the North Shuswap Health Centre's request for a financial contribution from Electoral Area F taxpayers.

The centre is looking for a stable and reliable source of funding to assist with its operating budget in the North Shuswap. Recent online and written petitions of area residents obtained more than 5,300 signatures in support of paying an additional tax to help support the health centre.

The North Shuswap Health Centre is a community owned and operated primary-care centre in Scotch Creek that provides access to doctors, public health and biweekly lab services.

As deadlines for implementing the tax in 2022 have already passed, the CSRD Board directed staff to develop a bylaw that can be brought back to the CSRD Board for consideration. This would also require a public assent process to ensure the new tax had sufficient community support.

Electoral Area F Director Jay Simpson is supportive of moving the process forward to see if the community will formally endorse the additional taxation, noting that the geography of the North Shuswap limits easy access to health care for residents and visitors. He points out that the health centre is a critical and vital tool for the community's economic development, its social system and the general well-being of residents.

"I know that there are other communities in the CSRD that are supporting their health centres. I know Sicamous is providing significant support for their health centre and building that up. It's not something that is new to local government in terms of support," Simpson said at the Board meeting. "I do believe that we need to bring this forward and get the community to formally endorse, or not, the opportunity to support a health centre."

Details on the process, timeline, proposed costs to the taxpayer and the type of community assent process will be developed by staff and brought back before the CSRD Board as part of the 2022 work plan.

View printable copy (PDF).

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