The District of Sicamous released a conceptual design of the Shuswap Healing Centre being planned for 200 Main St. on July 29, 2022. (District of Sicamous image)

The District of Sicamous released a conceptual design of the Shuswap Healing Centre being planned for 200 Main St. on July 29, 2022. (District of Sicamous image)

Development permit approved for Shuswap Healing Centre despite community concerns

Council unanimously in favour despite ongoing concerns around misinformation

The District of Sicamous council has approved a development permit for the Shuswap Healing Centre at 200 Main Street.

At its Sept. 28 meeting, council voted unanimously in support of issuing the permit, applied for on behalf of the district by Scott Builders. The vote occurred after the public information period of the meeting when resident Dawn Backs pleaded with council to delay approval so that related misinformation circulating in the community could first be addressed.

Backs stressed she is not against the healing centre in Sicamous, stating “everyone in the community and around could use the services.” However, Backs said she’s lived in the community for 50 years and has never seen the community so divided over an issue.

“I hope that you guys can just understand that we’re not against it, we just need more time…,” said Backs. “I know that’s ridiculous because we’ve taken so much time already, but with all the misinformation that’s out there, we really need to clear it up and get the facts out there.”

Backs referenced Coun. Colleen Anderson, in responding to a previous question, attempted to clear up some of that misinformation, stressing the healing centre will not be a treatment centre.

“It is not a rehab centre, it is a 9-5 medical centre – no one gets to spend the night or get treated in it. I just want to make that clear,” Anderson commented as council was deciding on the development permit.

Coun. Bob Evans suggested the healing centre may reduce trips to out-of-town specialists.

“This is not a place that’s going to, in any way, make Sicamous worse,” said Evans. “It’s going to make Sicamous better because it’s going to be a beautiful facility that attracts people to this town… I think that we’ve put enough time into this that I’m going to vote yes to this today… And then we’ll continue to correct the misinformation as we go. But we can’t wait forever in hopes that we’re going to be able to correct every last wrong notion out there.”

Coun. Gord Bushell said the district is essentially taking the community health centre on Finlayson and moving it to 200 Main.

“Nothing is really going to change,” said Bushell.

District development services manager Scott Beeching said the district will have a closer look at servicing the Shuswap Healing Centre during the building permit stage.

Read more: Shuswap Healing Centre: Conceptual design revealed for planned Sicamous building

Read more: Council chooses more green space, less parking for Shuswap Healing Centre
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