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View From City Hall: Pose your queries to the right people

People are angry — there is no doubt about that. Councillors see it on social media, in emails sent to us, through phone calls and when we are stopped on the street
Dale Bass column head

People are angry — there is no doubt about that.

Councillors see it on social media, in emails sent to us, through phone calls and when we are stopped on the street.

People want things to improve and so does council — but the answer doesn’t come by saying “just do it.” I wish it did because I can’t count the number of times I’ve muttered it.

That’s not the way any level of government works, unfortunately. The higher up the government levels you go, the slower and more complicated things become.

The public can help, however. Rather than venting on social media and sharing information that someone told someone who told you, get truly involved.

Do you have questions about the future of the Fortune Motel? Councillors do, as well. The best place to find answers is from the owner of the facility — and that’s not the city. Go online to letstalkhousingbc.ca to find the facts.

Want to learn more about this project? Use the Q&A at that site or the email address attached to it.

You want information or to share your views about the new shelters that will soon open in the city? Go to the same website — because BC Housing owns them, too — and click on projects. You will find the same Q&A section and email address.

If you are unhappy about crime — and yes, it is happening everywhere, not just in Kamloops — there are many places you can connect with to ask questions, get answers and share your viewpoints.

The obvious place to start is at the top, with the federal government. I’m pretty sure new member of Parliament Frank Caputo would love feedback he can toss in the direction of the governing Liberals, since only it can pass legislation addressing those Supreme Court of Canada rulings that now make it harder for our justice system to work the way many of us want it to work.

His email is frank.caputo@parl.bc.ca.

You might want to copy our local members of the legislative assembly so they can ask Attorney General David Eby what he is doing to make the streets safer.

You can reach Kamloops South-Thompson MLA Todd Stone at 250-374-2880 or by email at Todd.stone.MLA@leg.bc.ca. Kamloops North MLA Peter Milobar can be reached at 250-554-5413 or by email at Peter.Milobar.MLA@leg.bc.ca.

If you want to try for Eby himself, phone 1-250-387-1866 or email ag.minister@gov.bc.ca.

A few people have asked why the city isn’t doing more to address mental-health issues.

The short answer is we have been trying, but all we can do is keep asking. Health — and mental health — are not municipal responsibilities, but just like the aforementioned issues, we hear about them first.

Provincial Health Minister Adrian Dix chose not to reply to multiple messages and emails from council last year. His ministry has had a business case from the city for a sobering centre for five years.

Council had a local foundation offer to pay half the cost of a second nurse in an additional Car 40, the program that pairs an officer with a mental-health nurse. It was just for a year to prove the need for one, but we were confident it would be as busy as the existing car. Interior Health Authority management said no.

Want to know why walk-in clinics are closing and why the urgent-care clinic is almost impossible to contact? Want to know why we aren’t getting needed health resources?

Interior Health has a contact form on its website at interiorhealth.ca.

Dix can be reached 1-250-953-3547 or by email to hlth.minister@gov.bc.ca.

To contact city hall and council on issues, there are many ways.

For current issues, such as the upcoming budget, promoting electrical vehicles, improvements to Riverside Park and the North Shore Neighbourhood Plan, go online to letstalk.Kamloops.ca.

You will find email and phone numbers on each issue.

At the main city website, kamloops.ca, you will find ways to report issues or emergencies, contact city departments and call the switchboard at 250-828-3311.

To contact city council, email citycouncil@kamloops.ca, call 250-828-3494 or click on the city council link and then on the contacts link to find phone numbers and emails for all of us.

The only way we can make changes is to get through to the people with the power to do that.

If you want to be heard, make sure you are speaking to the right people.

Dale Bass is a Kamloops councillor. City council columns appear monthly. Bass can be reached by email at dbass@kamloops.ca.