📎 FCSSBC: Comprehensive June 11, 2024 Updates


News, updates, and stories about social care in BC

Unveiling the latest developments in social services

June 11, 2024

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Table of contents

  • Reconciliation
  • Training opportunities
  • Health & mental health
  • Highlights
  • Communities & families
  • Homelessness & housing
  • Children & youth
  • Toxic drugs
  • Good news


BC Conservatives want to repeal the province’s commitment to UNDRIP | Chek News

The BC Conservatives, led by John Rustad, aim to repeal the provincial declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and focus on “economic reconciliation” instead. This move has raised concerns among First Nations leaders, including Chief Darren Blaney and Regional Chief Terry Teegee, who see it as threatening their rights and the reconciliation process. Critics within the NDP caucus, such as Minister of Indigenous Relations Murray Rankin, oppose Rustad’s plan and emphasize the importance of upholding the UNDRIP commitment.


Training opportunities

Health & mental health

Toxic drugs in B.C.: 182 people died in April | CTV News

The latest data from the BC Coroners Service shows a 24% year-over-year decrease in toxic drug deaths in April, with 182 reported deaths. However, since 2016, at least 14,582 people have died from toxic drug overdoses. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jennifer Whiteside emphasized the significance of each life lost and the impact it has on families and communities. Unregulated drug toxicity is the leading cause of death among British Columbians aged 10 to 59, and recent data shows an increase in toxic drug-related deaths among women. Vancouver, Surrey and the Greater Victoria area saw the most toxic drug deaths in April. Additionally, BC appointed its first chief scientific adviser for psychiatry, toxic drugs, and concurrent disorders, Dr. Daniel Vigo, to improve care for people with complex mental health and addiction challenges.



Accreditation Policy | Province of British Columbia

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has updated its Third-Party Accreditation of Contracted Community Social Service Providers Policy in 2024. The policy requires that Service Providers receiving $500,000 or more in annual funding from MCFD and/or Community Living British Columbia be accredited. The update aims to strengthen MCFD’s Accreditation program and support MCFD-funded Service Providers by providing more clarity on roles and responsibilities, oversight and monitoring measures, and potential consequences of not achieving accreditation. The updated policy also addresses the complexity of MCFD’s contracts with Service Providers that operate across different geographical areas and for different accredited programs. Compliance with the accreditation policy will be specified in existing and future contracts.


Communities & families

B.C. politicians debate reflooding Sumas Prairie | CBC News

A new report by UBC scientists proposes reflooding Sumas Prairie in B.C. to prevent future catastrophic flooding. The plan involves relocating residents and farms to restore the area to a lake that was drained in the 1920s. The estimated cost of buying back properties on the lakebed is $1 billion, compared to $2.4 billion for repairing dikes. At the same time, some support the managed retreat, while others, including B.C. Premier David Eby and Abbotsford dairy farmer Rudi Meire oppose the idea due to its potential impact on food prices and agriculture. The proposal has also raised concerns about displacing residents and the historical importance of the area to the Sumas First Nation.


Homelessness & housing

Chamber pulling together package for unique housing project | The Nelson Daily

The Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce is proposing a unique 55-unit housing project to address the area’s housing shortage. The project will involve chamber-owned property and target workforce housing, with leases held by businesses and then subleased to employees. With support from BC Builds, the chamber and its partners aim to construct additional workforce housing units to lower construction costs. The project is still in the development stage, and collaboration with regulatory officials is ongoing.


Children & youth

Vernon council advised to support call for free transit for teens | Vernon Matters

Local teenagers in Vernon requested the city council to support their initiative for free transit services for teens by expanding the Get on Board! Program. They emphasized that granting free transit access to teens will benefit low-income youth, encourage the use of public transportation, reduce emissions, and alleviate traffic congestion.


Toxic drugs

‘Wilfully blind’ B.C. drug mule, 79, gets house arrest | Vancouver Is Awesome

An older man, Bernard Julius Horvath, was unknowingly caught with 2.96 kilograms of methamphetamine at Vancouver International Airport. He fell victim to a digital scam and was persuaded to carry a suitcase from Mexico to Hong Kong. The suitcase was found to contain drugs concealed in false bottom luggage. Horvath, described as an “unsophisticated individual,” was vulnerable to scams and had fallen victim to phishing attempts. Despite expressing remorse and accepting responsibility, he was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest followed by six months of curfew, as well as community service and probation. His travel documents have been surrendered.


Good news

If you have any feel-good, weird, fascinating or amusing stories you’d like to see included in this section, send them our way to giovani@fcssbc.ca!


The articles in Federation newsletters are for informational purposes and do not relate to the Federation’s advocacy work. We want our membership to stay informed of news relevant to our sector; the inclusion of a story is not an endorsement.

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