A growing concern in Burns Lake

A growing concern in Burns Lake

This week we wrote a story about council planning to meet with B.C.’s Ministry of Health to discuss what seems to be a growing concern in our community – mental health and addiction issues.

According to the Burns Lake RCMP, the number of calls that the detachment receives related to mental health occurrences has been increasing since January 2016. But other indicators also seem to have worsen in recent years.

According to the Human Early Learning Partnership’s EDI data, Burns Lake seems to be going backwards when it comes to children’s vulnerability. While children’s physical, social and emotional vulnerability decreased between 2009 and 2011, these three indicators increased between 2013 and 2016.

Some people in our community believe this may be connected to the fact that our once thriving college, which used to offer a successful hub model of service for family programs, had 323 full-time equivalent (FTE) students and 124 staff just three years ago; in 2016/17, the local campus was down to 49 FTE students and 22 staff.

During a council meeting earlier this summer, members of a group that’s been trying to bring a new college campus to Burns Lake questioned how the College of New Caledonia’s (CNC) decline might be affecting our community, and where Burns Lake will be in the long run if this issue is not addressed.

After being on the fence about this issue for a long time, council recently decided to invite the CNC administration to a council meeting to find out what the college is doing to address the declining number of students.

It’s important to point out that the Burns Lake area does have programs available for the most vulnerable in our community – from counselling to addiction services. However, finding information about these programs is not the easiest task. I – the town’s reporter – have had difficulty myself listing and understanding what programs are offered, so I wonder how a person without investigative skills and in need of immediate help would find the resources that they need.

Other initiatives to protect the most vulnerable in Burns Lake have been attempted, but didn’t seem to go anywhere.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen held a meeting in Burns Lake last summer to discuss the need for a homeless shelter for men in the Burns Lake area. However, several months after this meeting, no action had been taken to move this project forward. Lakes District News attempted to contact Cullen several times to ask why this project had not moved forward, but he did not provide a response.

With a local college that seems to be prioritizing distance learning, children’s vulnerability increasing in our area, local services that are not easy to find and projects that do not move forward, did council wait until too long to start taking action?


Just Posted

lotto max logo
Are you the lucky winner?

A $1 million ticket was bought in Burns Lake for Friday’s Lotto… Continue reading

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on June 19. A walk around the LDSS track and a draw for the quilt made by Jenny Pirie was organized by Ronda Payne for her friend Barb Wilson. Wilson was diagnosed with ALS in 2016. The draw raised roughly $6,300 from all across Canada, with tickets being bought from as far as Ontario. Burns Lake local won Patti Dube won the draw and the quilt. The money raised will now go to the ALS Society which in turn will be going towards more ALS research and for ALS Societies to provide support to other individuals and families living with this disease. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: Walk to End ALS held in Burns Lake

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on… Continue reading

Grad 2021 parade through the village. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: LDSS graduation 2021 parade in Burns Lake

Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) in Burns Lake had a graduation parade… Continue reading

First farmer's market Burns Lake 2021. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community Market 2021 begins in Burns Lake

Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce’s community market, which has received… Continue reading

Garden woodchips. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Greenhouse progress in Burns Lake

The Burns Lake Community Garden have a huge pile of woodchips, rough… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read