Sobering centre on agenda

The mayor of Kamloops wants to talk about a sobering centre for the city.

Ken Christian says that's one of several issues he'll bring to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in September.

"We believe that in many instances we're using city jails essentially as a drunk tank," he says. "And that's not a good use of that resource, and secondly, it's not good for the people that are in it."

"People that have a problem with an alcohol addiction really need to be treated in a facility that can manage that addiction, and it is much more sensitive to their health needs," adds Christian.

He also hopes to talk with Attorney General David Eby, who's responsible for the B.C. Lottery Corporation.

"What I've talked to them about is leasing additional commercial space in downtown Kamloops so they're close to their headquarters and so they're a big important part of downtown Kamloops," Christian says. "The other thing I've been talking to them about is I don't want that gateway to downtown to be sitting as a construction site for a decade."

The city is currently in the middle of an infrastructure project that will include the beautification of Victoria Street West. BCLC owns land currently empty at the eastern end of the project.

Christian adds he has assurances from Eby and the BCLC that Kamloops will remain the headquarters of the Crown corporation.

He's also seeking a commitment for new school sites in the city.

Christian notes in the coming years, it's expected 43 per cent of Kamloops' growth will be in the southwest, and therefore new school sites are being discussed in the Dufferin, McGowan and Pineview areas.

A tri-university, tri-city research project announced earlier this year will also be discussed. 

"This is with us, Kelowna and Prince George; We're working with UNBC, UBCO and TRU," he says. "In this case, it's about studying and researching disaster management."

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