First City Council meeting in a month and we had a pretty action packed agenda. Here are some notable items:
- After a presentation from Dr Silvina Mema and other officials from Interior Health, we supported the concept of a safe consumption site in Kamloops in principle. I think this "preliminary" endorsement speaks to council's understanding that we are in a public health emergency with regards to overdoses in the community and the desire to engage the community further as to how such a site could be made successful not just for drug consumers but also for businesses and neighbourhoods. We also talked about the need for other harm reduction measures, the importance of finding suitable and acceptable locations, and the importance of thorough engagement. We are still very early in the process and council might not support this initiative in later stages.
- We received a staff report detailing capital projects in the community that overall came under budget. We transferred the surplus funds back to the original funding sources.
- We decided to replace all remaining diesel buses in the Kamloops transit fleet with CNG buses.
- We approved the property tax exemptions for various places of worship and non profits in Kamloops. We decided to approve a property tax exemption for the Desert Gardens senior centre, which staff had originally recommended we discontinue.
- We supported the development permit for an exciting looking new downtown commercial and residential six storey building downtown, next to the Doubletree Hotel.
- We witnessed incredible bravery as four mothers, two with children who have had cancer and two who have tragically lost a child to cancer, presented to council on the importance of greater awareness of research into childhood cancer. Council unanimously and solemnly proclaimed the month of September "Childhood Cancer Awareness Month".