The City of Terrace reviewed and received a report of the July 2021 community dialogue on the downtown in its Feb. 28 council meeting.
The report provided an overview of the virtual town hall hosted by the city last year, which saw residents and downtown business owners collectively voice concerns about ongoing social issues in Terrace.
In the July 14 meeting, members of the public shared their views about homelessness, mental health and addictions, as well as crime and safety in Terrace. Northern Health representatives who were present at the meeting provided information about the measures taken by the health authority to assist the community.
Following the meeting, residents were also encouraged to share their opinions on the city’s online portal, Engage Terrace. Between July and September 2021, there were 131 visits recorded on Engage Terrace, and 37 people engaged with the tools on the platform.
Nine people contributed ideas to tackle the challenges and suggestions included a community centre, a recovery and addictions centre, fewer cannabis shops, a more cohesive vision for Terrace, bringing back correctional institutes, more cycling and walking infrastructure and beautification in the downtown core, among others.
In August 2021, the city hired Linda Stevens as the social development program coordinator. A copy of the meeting report has been given to Stevens, who began in her new role in September, to better explore these concerns.
Moving forward the city is also looking at launching a new webpage dedicated to its social development program in the first quarter of 2022.
Commenting on the report presented last evening, Coun. Sean Bujtas raised the dire need to pressure the province to direct more attention towards these issues faced in the northwest.
The City did invite provincial housing minister David Eby and mental health and addictions minister Sheila Malcolmson to attend the downtown meeting last year. Neither of them attended the meeting.
“If they’re not willing to come to us, maybe it’s time we start going to them,” said Bujtas, adding “We need to go to Victoria, banging down doors, saying you need to do better, you need to do more in the northwest.”