📰 FCSSBC: May 31, 2024 Social Services Update


News, updates, and stories about social care in BC

Unfold the recent happenings and advancements in social services

May 31, 2024

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Table of contents

  • Toxic drugs
  • Conferences & events
  • Health & mental health
  • Highlights
  • Disability
  • Children & youth
  • Reconciliation
  • Communities & families
  • Homelessness & housing
  • Disability
  • Good news

Toxic drugs

126 children and youth died of toxic drugs in 5 years: B.C. coroner | CBC News

Between 2019 and 2023, 126 youth died in British Columbia due to toxic drugs. Factors like isolation and the pandemic contributed. Fentanyl was a common factor. More harm reduction and mental health support services are needed for youth. The government is working on a connected mental health and addiction support system. An education campaign is raising awareness of toxic drug dangers.



June 2024: Current & Emerging Issues Conference and AGM

Presented by the Federation Association Benefit Plan

osoyoos conference visual identity: people with their hands in the air connecting with each other in a desert-y background | design by estella lum

Our June (13 and 14, 2024) conference is designed to tackle the pressing issues that matter most to our members. Based on feedback from our members, we’ve tailored the agenda to cover current trends and emerging topics. The Federation AGM*, on the final morning, ensures we discuss these crucial issues and address organizational matters vital to our collective mission.

*AGM is exclusive to members.


Health & mental health

‘Critical’: Doctors, health-care staff sound alarm about Nanaimo hospital | Global News

Concerns are raised about unequal healthcare access on northern Vancouver Island. Nanaimo Regional General Hospital faces critical shortages and overcrowding. The Fair Care Alliance advocates for a new patient tower to address these issues. Island Health acknowledges investment needs.



National AccessAbility Week: May 26 to June 1, 2024 | Canada

The Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion is hosting a virtual event to kickstart National AccessAbility Week from May 23 to June 1, 2024. The event aims to bring together persons with disabilities, disability organizations, public and private sector organizations, employers, academics, innovators, and thought leaders to discuss creating accessible and inclusive communities and workplaces across Canada. The Congress will feature panel discussions on the Accessible Canada Act, the inclusive built environment, and accessible employment, as well as a keynote speech by Prasanna Ranganathan, a founding board member of the Disability Screen Office. Additionally, the event will celebrate Canadian athletes and artists with disabilities.



Autistic Youth Deserve Freedom from Abuse | Psychology Today Canada

Autistic youth are disproportionately affected by abuse, with studies showing higher rates of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse among them compared to their neurotypical peers. Factors such as behavioural challenges and intergenerational trauma contribute to this trend. However, misunderstandings about autism often lead to inappropriate interventions or a lack thereof within child protective services. Initiatives focusing on education about autism within the child welfare system and providing neurodiversity-affirming resources for families could help address this issue and ensure the safety and well-being of autistic youth.


Children & youth

Vancouver Island man charged with child luring and making sexual abuse material: RCMP | battlefordsNOW

A Vancouver Island man was arrested and charged with child luring and creating sexual abuse material. RCMP said in a statement that the B.C. Integrated Child Exploitation Unit received information from U.S. Homeland Security Investigations last September. The Mounties say they identified a suspect in Langford, B.C.



Cree mother found dead in British Columbia | APTN News

Renee Didler, a Cree woman and mother of two, was found dead near Dawson Creek, B.C. The RCMP is investigating her death. Didler had been reported missing in late 2023. Three others, including another Indigenous woman, went missing from the same area.


Communities & families

Advocate reminds B.C. senior homeowners about tax deferral | Trail Times

B.C.’s seniors advocate, Dan Leavitt, reminds senior homeowners about the option to defer property taxes to save up to $400 monthly. Eligible homeowners 55+ can defer paying property taxes until they pass away or sell the property. The current interest rate is 5.2%, and rising equity in the home can cover the cost of property taxes and interest. It’s recommended that you apply for the deferral after receiving the property tax bill and before the taxes are due.


Homelessness & housing

Student housing coming to Squamish | BC Gov News

Capilano University’s new Squamish campus will offer affordable on-campus student housing starting in fall 2024, with 333 new student beds. The purchase of three student housing buildings was made possible through a combined investment from the Province and CapU. This initiative aims to provide secure, stable, and affordable student housing, reducing demand on the local rental housing market. The student housing facilities are designed to be inclusive, accessible, and safe. This investment is part of the Homes for People action plan, which aims to develop 12,000 student beds on campuses in the province, aiming to ease pressure on the local rental markets.



Developer threatens to make disabled senior pay for forced demolition of own home | Castanet

George Sun, a disabled senior living in the Shady Acres Mobile Home Park in West Kelowna, is facing a lawsuit threat from Kerr Properties. Sun, who bought the home in 2012 and improved it significantly, recently had it registered and assessed at $90,000. Kerr Properties, which plans to redevelop the park, refuses to buy Sun’s home, citing unauthorized registration and unpermitted renovations. They have demanded that Sun bring the house up to code within 90 days or face demolition costs. Sun, unable to afford legal advice or the necessary renovations, feels isolated and fearful.

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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