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Prince George still waiting on meeting with premier, ministers

City council requested a meeting to discuss the homelessness, addictions and mental health crisis in the city back in December.
The encampment at Milllennium Park, located at the corner of First Avenue and George Street, is seen in a Citizen file photo.

Almost four months after city council called for a meeting with Premier David Eby and provincial leaders to discuss the homelessness, mental health and addictions crisis facing Prince George, the city is still waiting for a response.

On Dec. 5, city council approved an amended version a notice of motion brought forward by Coun. Kyle Sampson to request a meeting with representatives of Northern Health, BC Housing and the ministries of health, mental health and addictions, social development, municipal affairs and poverty reduction and the attorney general and minister responsible for housing. While Eby publicly accepted in the invitation in December, and again during a meeting with Mayor Simon Yu in January, the city has not received any response to a pair of letters written on Jan. 3 and again on Jan. 31 requesting the meeting, Yu wrote in a report to city council.

On Monday night, city council approved sending a third letter – signed by all members of city council – again requesting the meeting be held to address to social issues facing the city.

“The issues facing our community are quite complex right now,” Yu said. “(But) we can only request… this is the third time we’re asking.”

Coun. Tim Bennett said even if all the relevant ministers aren’t available for a single meeting, it would be helpful if city council could meet with them individually when they are in Prince George on other business.

Sampson said the request came early in the term for both city council and the new premier and his cabinet, and both groups have had a lot of work on their plates.

“(But) I’m looking forward to the province’s response to this meeting,” he said.

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