Salmon Arm  

CSRD seeks OK for tax support of North Shuswap Health Centre

Support for health centre

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District Board is moving forward with first steps in supporting a North Shuswap Health Centre request for financial support.

The health centre is seeking a stable and reliable source of funding to assist with its operating budget.

Recent petitions received more than 5,300 signatures in support of paying an additional tax to help support the community owned primary-care centre in Scotch Creek.

The centre provides access to doctors, public health and bi-weekly lab services.

As deadlines for 2022 taxes have already passed, CSRD directors have asked staff to develop a bylaw that can be brought back to the board for consideration.

This would also require a public assent process to proceed.

Electoral Area F director Jay Simpson is supportive of moving the process forward to see if the community will formally endorse the additional taxation, noting that geography of the North Shuswap limits easy access to health care for residents and visitors.

“I know that there are other communities in the CSRD that are supporting their health centres. I know Sicamous is providing significant support for their health centre and building that up. It’s not something that is new to local government in terms of support,” Simpson said.

“I do believe that we need to bring this forward and get the community to formally endorse, or not, the opportunity to support a health centre.”

Details on the timeline, proposed cost to taxpayers and community assent process will be developed by staff and brought back before the CSRD board as part of the 2022 work plan.

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