The Burns Lake Medical Clinic Society can now tuck a ‘welcome’ letter from the Village of Burns Lake under their belts.
Mayor Strimbold said to Lakes District News, “According to our responsibility as elected officials we are not able to support one business over another, this is why we’re providing a ‘welcome to new business’ letter.”
Previously, society president Donna Brochez had come to council asking for a letter of support for their proposed not for profit medical clinic.
During a recent meeting, council briefly discussed providing a letter of support, before coming to their decision.
Councillor John Illes excused himself from the council table, citing a conflict of interest as a Burns Lake Medical Clinic Society board member.
During the public comments section of the meeting, Paula Van Tine, society member said to council, “The Burns Lake Medical Clinic Society is requesting a letter of support from the Village of Burns Lake. We want to stress our belief that the most important thing that can happen is that the number of physicians adequately addresses our needs. Northern Health has set this number [of physicians] at seven for Burns Lake.”
Van Tine said to councillors, “With regard to any concerns about competition with the other medical clinic we are looking at having anywhere from two to three physicians. Northern Health said the community needs seven.”
Jonathan Dyck, communications officer at Northern Health said to Lakes District News that currently there is four permanent physicians working in Burns Lake and three locums working monthly to help out at the Lakes District Hospital and the Burns Lake Medical Clinic.
“For Burns Lake, Northern Health recommends six family doctors with emergency medical skills,” he said.
Mayor Luke Strimbold said, “I have thought a lot about this issue and about council supporting businesses. Looking back at the letters of support that have been provided by council in the past, I don’t have a problem with writing a letter welcoming new businesses to our community.” Mayor Strimbold asked council for their opinions on the matter.
Councillor Susan Schienbein said, “I also don’t have a problem making a motion to welcome new businesses, particularly health care businesses.” The motion was carried unanimously by council.
Donna Brochez, society president later said to Lakes District News, “We are very pleased that the village has decided to give us a letter. It shows that they are backing community initiatives and it is important for us in applying for funding. The directors are pleased, as we have been struggling to getting support letters from local groups. This should encourage others to support us, especially the larger surrounding organizations.”