Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran has shot back at a mayoral candidate over claimed lack of supports for RCMP.
Tom Dyas put out a press release Monday (Aug. 8) stating that if he were elected in the October municipal elections he would seek to expand the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) to ensure there is a full-time nurse at the Kelowna detachment’s cell block.
“As Kelowna’s RCMP continues to face mounting mental health-related calls, we need to ensure that the city takes a leadership role in demanding that our RCMP officers are partnered with nurses, who have the experience in helping those facing mental health.”
Dyas said that, currently, there is one nurse in the PACT program and no full-time nurse at the detachment.
“As Kelowna’s mayor, I will demand that the province and Interior Health (IH) come to work with us to provide this support.
On his personal Instagram account, Basran responded that there will be plenty of finger-pointing as the municipal election gets closer. He disputed Dyas’ comments that little has been done to help RCMP with mental health supports.
“Anyone who really wants the job of mayor should have been paying attention over the past four years, and if they had, they would have noticed a tremendous amount of work has been done locally and provincially.”
Basran noted the city is well aware that the RCMP needs more supports.
“We have been advocating to IH for more nursing support on PACT,” he said. “I’m happy to say IH has come to the table and is having conversations right now with the RCMP to do that.”
Basran also pointed out that work done by the Urban Mayor’s Caucus, which he co-chairs, has led to reforms in the B.C. Police Act, including a mental health option when someone calls 911. Such a call would be triaged by a mental health practitioner.
He ended his message by stating “get the real facts and do your homework.”
According to the City of Kelowna elections website, Basran has not yet picked up a nomination package for the fall election.