The District of Sicamous has announced two public town hall meetings where it’s looking to address concerns – and rumours – around the proposed Shuswap Healing Centre.
Two meetings are planned for Wednesday, Nov. 3. Town manager Evan Parliament said the first is from 3 to 5 p.m. and the second is from 6 to 8 p.m., both at the Sicamous Seniors Centre at 1091 Shuswap Ave.
The meetings will also provide residents with the opportunity to learn and ask questions about other current and future developments. Information stations will be set up for: the Eagle Valley Senior Citizens Housing Society affordable housing project; Habitat for Humanity affordable housing project; Sicamous Beach Park improvements; Main Street revitalization; the existing Sicamous Community Health Centre; and the Shuswap Healing Centre.
Mayor Terry Rysz, as well as Sicamous council and district staff will e at the meetings, as will representatives from the Eagle Valley Senior Citizens Housing Society and BC Housing, and Bill Miller, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Kamloops. Parliament also hopes to have representation from Splatsin.
Dr. Avein Saaty-Tafoya will be at both meetings. She’s part of the Shuswap Healing Centre’s design team, and has been working with community health centres, hospitals, and primary care associations in executive roles since 1996. Will Woodward, Scott Builders’ project lead for the Shuswap Healing Centre, will also be in attendance. Scott Builders is the company in charge of managing the pre-construction phase of the centre.
On Oct. 19, Parliament said he’d still been hearing rumours the centre would be an addictions facility. He’d previously addressed those rumours at an Oct. 13 council meeting, and said they’re not true.
“I can certainly understand why there’s a confusion when people hear community health center, medical clinic, Shuswap Healing Centre, and truth and reconciliation. I think a lot of people, because of their past education, and some of their concerns, feel this is going to be some type of an addiction services or addiction treatment facility,” said Parliament. “It is not, it can’t be, because we won’t have the proper facilities to accommodate that.”
He reiterated all doctors and services at the current Sicamous Community Health Centre will transition to the new Shuswap Healing Centre.
“The Shuswap Healing Centre, in addition to being our own community health centre, will offer services to Splatsin and any Indigenous client who is seeking healing in terms of their stay at a residential school or their parents’ stay in a residential school,” said Parliament. “There’s no barrier, no segregation. The Shuswap Healing Centre is an open, public facility that provides healing to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; and provides healing for mental and physical ailments.”