Kent – Kent Council – March 8 – Council Highlights
Regional Indigenous Relations Committee
Councillor Post reported that Director Al Stobbart was elected Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional Indigenous Relations Committee and Mayor Peter Robb was elected Vice-Chair.
The committee represents the interests of the municipalities of Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Kent, Hope, Harrison Hot Springs, and the eight electoral areas of the Fraser Valley Regional District. A commissioner and staff person from the Cultus Lake Park Board are also appointed as observers, as are representatives from the Metro Vancouver Indigenous Relations committee. These appointments are for a one-year period.
More information can be found at www.fvrd.ca/EN/main/government/committees-commissions.html.
Social and Affordable Housing Inventory
Regional Social and Affordable Housing Inventories were first compiled in 2009 and updated in association with the Homelessness Surveys in 2014, 2017 and most recently in 2020. Inventories are compiled for Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Kent, Harrison Hot Springs, and Hope, and provide information on a range of housing types, contact information and brief descriptions of the housing and available services.
The inventories are a valuable resource for local governments and non-profit and private-sector stakeholders to monitor social and affordable housing in the region. The information is used to inform local government policy makers to address housing needs and homelessness at both the local and regional level.
The Inventory Reports can be found on the Fraser Valley Regional District website at: www.fvrd.ca.
International Women’s Day
In honour of International Women’s Day, Councillor Post took a moment to recognize the women who work for the District and the women who serve on Council.
Councillor Watchorn congratulated recruit Shaina Marriott for being the only female fire fighter currently at the Agassiz Fire Department.
Update from the Mayor
In a virtual meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Mayor Sylvia Pranger reported on COVID fatigue setting in and the concerns of mental health within our communities.
As the vaccine rollout has begun, it is important to continue to advocate for local immunization clinics to make getting vaccinated as easy as possible, especially for our seniors.
Mayor Pranger announced Provincial funding of $395,000 for the revitalization of the Aberdeen Building project. The District was successful in their Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) application which will be used to upgrade the Aberdeen building that was built in 1995 as a tribute to the original Aberdeen Hotel, the first building in the Agassiz village area in 1894.
“Thank you to everyone for doing their best to keep COVID at bay. Be kind, be safe and shop local!”
While in attendance at the Chilliwack Collaborative Services meeting with Mayor Pranger, Councillor Spaeti reported on the two pandemics affecting British Columbians.
The first is COVID-19 and the vaccination rollout. Vaccine call centres for seniors are open. You can book a vaccine appointment for yourself or your spouse. You can also have a family member or friend call for you. It is easy and safe to book over the phone.
Please visit gov.bc.ca for information on when to call based on age as well information you will be asked.
To book an appointment with Fraser Health, please call 1-855-755-2455 or Book Online at www.fraserhealth.ca.
The second pandemic affecting British Columbians is the overdose crisis. In response to the opioid overdose crisis, A Community Action Team based in Chilliwack will focus on four goals:
- Expand community-based harm reduction.
- Increase availability of naloxone.
- Address unsafe drug supply with expanded services and more treatment meds; and
- Supporting people at risk of OD (overdose) by intervening early with treatment and housing.
For information on overdose prevention and response, please visit www.fraserhealth.ca/.
Councillor Spaeti also thanked Dr. Josh Greggain for his work in aiding and retaining doctors in the Hope area as well as advocating for broadening 24/7 emergency care access to rural communities. Dr. Greggain will be relocating to Victoria.
March 8 to 14, 2021 was declared as “Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth Awareness Week” in the District of Kent.
This week recognizes the importance of supporting communities to develop prevention, education, enforcement, and intervention strategies to address the sexual exploitation of children and youth.
For more information visit: gov.bc.ca.
Canada Day 2021
Council approved two plans for Canada Day as the celebrations will be dependent on the status of the Provincial Public Health Order.
While BC’s Restart Plan is currently on pause due to the increase in COVID-19 cases; moving into Phase 3 may be introduced prior to July 1, 2021 as the Immunization Plan moves ahead.
Under Phase 3 restrictions, Canada Day at Pioneer Park would be restricted to 50 people at one time with social distancing. This will require booked time slots for families to visit Pioneer Park and enjoy inflatables, carnival games and music. A virtual bike rodeo and pancake breakfast would also be offered.
Disc Golf in the District
As Disc golf is a sport that is quickly growing in popularity, Council approved purchasing portable disc golf baskets to introduce the sport of disc golf to the community, while a permanent location is sought out.
Disc golf is like traditional golf, but rather than balls and clubs, players use a flying disc or Frisbee. The object of the game is to complete each hole with the fewest throws. Players start off at a tee or marker, throwing their disc in the direction of the baskets. In many cases, there are physical barriers that must be crossed or passed, like ponds or trees, to reach the basket. To complete a disc golf hole, a player must land their disc in the basket.
More details including how to sign out the equipment will be available soon.
Council approved the continuation of the 125th Anniversary celebrations to the end of 2021. The District was successful in receiving $53,300 from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism for the celebrations and the 125th Legacy Project. Combined with the District’s contribution of $50,000, the total budget for the events and project is $103,500.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Provincial Health Order on limiting social gatherings, the celebration events were adjusted to offer the Agassiz Historical Haunts, Winter Night Lights, Shop Local, and Love Local initiatives. As restrictions will likely continue into 2021, the following events were approved:
The Summer Staycation will promote staying local and supporting our community’s economy. This event will highlight community activities in May through September including Canada Day, Storytime in the Park, Adventures in Agassiz and more.
The virtual reunion will be a substitute for the planned Homecoming and would provide past and current residents with the opportunity to virtually share stories or phots.
Spring Break at the CRCC
The Community Recreation and Cultural Centre has partnered with Agassiz Harrison Community Services to offer spring break activities at the CRCC.
This two-hour program will take place form 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, from March 15th to March 19th, and March 22nd to March 26th. Each day will have a new theme with associated activities and crafts. Pre-registration is required for all participants.
More information can be found on our website at kentbc.ca or by calling 604-796-8891.