Skeena BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross will host a town hall meeting in Terrace on Nov. 26, aimed at finding solutions to the ongoing social issues in the city.
The meeting, called ‘Terrace Streets,’ will see speakers from the Lower Mainland come up and present the models that they have implemented in their communities to deal with similar issues of homelessness, addictions and crime.
Speakers include, Ghalib Bhayani, the architect and co-chair of the Surrey Mobilization and Resiliency Table (SMART); Tom Littlewood, program director for Dan’s Legacy who developed one of the first diversion programs for at-risk youths while working as a police counsellor; Dr. Jennifer Mervyn, a psychologist who is known for her work on Indigenous youth mental health and Chad Cowles, manager of LEAD Maple Ridge, a community social safety initiative (CSSI) for which Maple Ridge is the demonstration city.
Representatives from the the City of Terrace, community organizations, local business owners, members from the industry and social agencies are also invited to be a part of this. The meeting will not be open to the public but will be live streamed from the venue.
The idea of bringing these speakers to Terrace is to provide examples of programs that seem to be working in other places, so that stakeholders in Terrace can choose a solution that works best for the city, said Ross.
While there have been many town hall meetings held to discuss the problems affecting Terrace, including the most recent one organized by the City of Terrace in July, the meeting next week is a step towards solutions, he added.
“I wanted to give Terrace a number of options and show them what’s possible and these people in there [the speakers], they’re going to talk mainly about solutions,” he said.
Ross also stressed on the need for humane solutions.
“We do have an issue with addictions, we do have an issue with crime but at the end of the day, we’ve got to find a way to actually treat these people with compassion because they are human beings,” he said.