Local issues lined up for lobbying

More timber cuts released, physiotherapists sought

The Cariboo Regional District Board will put forward two resolutions to be tabled at the 2015 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention Sept. 21-25.

The first resolution is to lobby the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Treasury Board for the establishment of a physiotherapy program at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) that will provide for 20 more physiotherapy academic seats.

The need for more physiotherapy training was highlighted to the board after the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) received information outlining the dire shortage of physiotherapists in B.C., particularly in the North.

The CCRHD/CRD boards wrote a letter of support for more opportunities at medical schools in the province, copied to other local governments and associations, to help gain support for the resolution.

The information reviewed by the local area directors indicates the University of B.C. in Vancouver graduates 80 physiotherapists annually and is the only physiotherapy school in the province; however, UNBC has space for a 20-seat physiotherapy program.

Timber flow

The second resolution is to call upon the province to deliver the full allowable cut under the BC Timber Sales (BCTS) program, complete a science-based inventory of the available timber supply, and move assertively to increase operating certainty on the working forest land base.

CRD chair Al Richmond says the intention is to attempt to ensure the locally harvested logs allocated to BCTS get to market to be made available for processing, and are not held up.

Because BCTS sometimes withholds that fibre, this artificially drives up the cost of purchasing timber for the other licensees to put it into production, he explains.

Both resolutions were endorsed at the North Central Local Government Association Conference in the spring of this year, a necessary step in order for them to move on to the floor at UBCM.

If endorsed this fall, UBCM will lobby to the province to take action on both resolutions.

100 Mile House Free Press

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