West Kelowna  

Push for school, health ctr

West Kelowna is pushing the provincial government for a second high school and improved health care access.

Mayor Doug Findlater and members of council met with cabinet ministers during this week's Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Whistler.

On Tuesday, they met with Minister of Education Rob Fleming to seek expedited development of a second Westside secondary school.

With an average annual growth of 1.95 per cent since 2006, the student population is forecast to increase by 1,122 by 2027. Mount Boucherie Secondary is currently the only high school serving the area.

“Minister Fleming heard our plea... He said the numbers were certainly there,” said Findlater. “He also said that School District 23 has a very good reputation for these kinds of planning projects.”

Council also pushed Health Minister Adrian Dix on a long sought after urgent care facility for the Westside.

A consultant's report from 2017 recommends an urgent care facility, combined with the provision of mental health and substance abuse services.

“Minister Dix made it clear that there will be a primary care centre established somewhere in the Central Okanagan,” said Findlater. “He said we are doing the right thing by continuing to advocate for the centre in our community, and he said he would like to hear from community groups as well. He also indicated that he would like to see doctors get involved and submit proposals.”

Trucking of biosolids was also raised with Ministry of Environment staff.

Currently, the regional District of Central Okanagan trucks its biosolids out of province.

“Just days before our meeting, draft new regulations were introduced which the RDCO will provide input on,” said Findlater. “We anticipate that the new regulations will provide a framework we can work within to avoid trucking our biosolids out of the province, which is extremely expensive.”

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