Sicamous has many assets but improvements can be made, starting with attitude.
That is the overall finding of eight recently held Healthy Community forums.
District of Sicamous Coun. Suzanne Carpenter says the goal of the forums, which were funded by a $5,000 grant from BC Healthy Communities Society, was to get a snapshot of what the community is doing well, how to sustain that and how to improve on making Sicamous a healthier community.
The forums were held with various community sectors and looked at a number of issues, including community assets, health and wellness, seniors assets, social services, community safety, education and employment and economic development.
From all the sectors and community feedback emerged five main issues: transportation; recruitment of health services; sidewalk and benches on Shuswap Avenue; community involvement in the official community plan that needs to be clear, concise and community-driven; and marketing Sicamous in a more united way.
“Transportation was huge,” says Carpenter, who noted she was pleased with the process and learned a lot about what assets the community has and what the district can do to make it a better and healthier community.
“What came out at every sector was that instead of a can-do attitude, council has a back-off attitude, and that needs to be changed.”
Carpenter says a lot of things that emerged are already being done at the district and that communication may be an issue.
Carpenter will be meeting with District of Sicamous staff next week and the report will be taken to the new council following the Nov. 15 election.
“We will have them (councillors) read it and maybe use it to work into the official community plan and strategic plan: that would finish up (what’s left of) the grant,” she said. “We’re striving to let the district know what the community feels.”
The forums were initiated by the Eagle Valley Community Support Society. Invitations to the forums were sent out to agencies and advertised in the Eagle Valley News.
“I would have liked to see more people, but I was amazed at the conversation of the community,” Carpenter says. “I was enlightened on how many assets there are in the community. I am really involved in the community and I didn’t know all of the assets.”