Enderby pushes for social funds

Council members met with Stephanie Cadieux, children and family development minister

Enderby officials are demanding more attention be paid to vital community services.

Council members met with Stephanie Cadieux, children and family development minister, at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Wednesday, and the topic was the Enderby and District Community Resource Centre.

“We want more funding for the resource centre,” said Coun. Raquel Knust.

“It is only open two days a week and it needs to be open five days.”

However, Cadieux didn’t commit to any new money but stated her ministry would see if existing funding could be used more efficiently.

“It’s frustrating when you have a meeting and you are told there is no new money,” said Knust.

Among the programs offered by EDCRC are Healthy Eating for Life, Mother Goose, Sunshine Seniors Call Line, community kitchens, food skills for families and seniors, emergency bus tickets, emergency good vouchers, resource information, early childhood development and Healthiest Babies Possible.

Community and civic leaders say there is a need for more resources because studies indicate that 49 per cent of kindergarten children in Enderby are vulnerable in one or more areas of development (the provincial average is 30 per cent).

Statistics from 2011 show that Enderby ranks 22 out of 92 health areas in order of worst-off to best-off in terms of the socio-economic index.

Teenage pregnancy also continues to be high.

While at the UBCM in Vancouver, Enderby council members have met with other provincial cabinet ministers to discuss doctor recruitment, supportive housing and the spread of invasive mussel species.

They have also attended policy sessions with other B.C. politicians and attended information workshops on a variety of issues.

“It’s been an unforgettable experience,” said Knust.

“The networking with others and the speakers really gets you engaged.”