Grand Forks council recognizes shared responsibility to support establishing winter shelter

CAO: ‘I think, one way or another, you’re in this and you have been in this situation […]’

Grand Forks city councillors voted 5-1 Monday in favour of a statement indicating that they accept some responsibility in establishing an emergency shelter in town, with all but Coun. Rod Zielinski voting in favour (Coun. Neil Krog was absent from the meeting).

The amended motion read: “The City of Grand Forks believes that it is a shared responsibility with other levels of government and service providers to have an emergency shelter.”

The discussion around the municipality’s responsibility for a winter shelter arose from a staff report requested by council at a previous meeting. The report, which summarizes how some other communities in B.C. are zoning for emergency shelters, effectively notes that there is no uniform pattern amongst those cities surveyed.

“What it says in Victoria would be very different than what it says in Kelowna, and so I think what we need is a made-in-Grand Forks definition,” interim Chief Administrative Officer Ron Mattiussi said, encouraging council to discuss what criteria would need to be satisfied in order for the city to accept a shelter.

“I think, one way or another, you’re in this and you have been in this situation, but what we’re trying to do is help you define, as a council through a democratic process, what in fact those criteria are good Grand Forks criteria,” Mattiussi said.

“What [staff] have tried to do […] is provide us with a process – a road map of how we’re going to get there,” added Coun. Chris Moslin.

Originally, Zielinski had put forward a simpler statement: “That the City of Grand Forks believes that it’s the City’s responsibility to have an emergency shelter within the City.” Moslin added the wording to indicate that establishing a shelter does not rest on the city’s shoulders alone.

“We didn’t like it last year when something happened on an informal basis and morphed from a winter extreme shelter into what began to look like a permanent shelter,” said Moslin. “Other than saying ‘No,’ we never said what we were going to do.”

While some councillors expressed doubt that BC Housing would fund an emergency seasonal shelter, the Crown corporation’s website indicates that it does support such facilities, defining temporary winter shelters as places that are “Generally open November 1 to April 30” and “closed from May 1 to Oct 31.”

RELATED: Grand Forks advisory group seeks shelter options for winter


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Fire destroys house in Greenwood on Saturday

Neighbours say the fire started around 11:30 a.m.

Snowfall warning for Kootenay and Paulson passes

Up to 30 cm expected in mountain passes Saturday and Sunday.

Grand Forks residents rally for a ‘fair deal’ in flood buyouts

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

Police seize drugs, weapons and cash from Christina Lake residence

One man was arrested when RCMP executed a search warrant on Nov. 14

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Environmental and animal rights activists chain themselves to front doors of Kelowna bank

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Most Read