The following are highlights from the District of Hope Council meeting on Monday, March 22.
MAYOR ROBB UPDATES COUNCIL ON COVID
In his report to council, Mayor Peter Robb spoke with the president of Fraser Health, Dr. Victoria Lee, in a weekly call. At this time, there will still only be two COVID-19 vaccination clinics in operation in Hope. There is the possibility of more as the eligibility criteria broadens.
Robb said Fraser Health has been surprised to learn of a very high reluctance to be vaccinated at this time.
“Whether they’re the 80-plus group that’s in there now or the group they’re trying to get in for the next couple of weeks, there’s already resistance to (getting the vaccine),” Robb said. He added since the vaccine takes two weeks to be effective, those receiving the first dose will have to go back on to normal COVID protocol until then, which is meeting some resistance.
Fraser Health is concerned about the spread of COVID variants and a subsequent third wave as well, which are currently dominant mostly in the Surrey area as of Monday.
HOUSING FOR ADULTS COGNITIVE DISABILITIES INTRODUCED
Garry Vath and George Preston of the Fraser Inclusive and Supportive Housing Society (FISH) appeared before council as a delegation to introduce the society and the plans for a housing project for people with cognitive disabilities.
The district supplied FISH with grant in aid funding, which Preston said has helped lay out the basic groundwork for getting the project going. FISH recently received property off of Wallace Street in hopes of developing inclusive housing so local adults with cognitive disabilities will not have to leave their community to find appropriate accommodations. Members of council expressed their support.
“This is super exciting, and keep going,” Coun. Heather Stewin told the FISH representatives. “Go, go, go!”
TEMPORARY USE PERMIT DEFEATED
Hope District Council voted 2-3, declining to issue a three-year temporary use permit for a 15-unit worker accommodation complex designed for workers on the TransMountain pipeline in the Hope area. Couns. Stewin and Scott Medlock were in favour of the permit.
The camp would have been located at 21415 Trans Canada Highway near Landstrom Road. While there were a number of letters in favour of building the camp to take pressure off the housing market, residents in the area brought up a number of concerns, including traffic, noise and impact on area infrastructure.
GRANT APPLICATION FOR HOMELESSNESS HELP APPROVED
District council unanimously endorsed a grant application for approximately $317,000 from the Strengthening Communites’ Services Program 2021 to address the issue of homelessness in the Hope area.
The next regular council meeting is April 12 at 7 p.m. via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/DistrictOfHope.