On Monday, July 23, a delegation from the Interior Health Authority spoke at the City Council meeting. That delegation included Dr. Silvina Mema and Megan DiSimone, Mental Health and Substance, North Okanagan Manager.
They made a lengthy presentation about substance abuse and treatment, and how they felt it needed to be applied in Vernon.
Throughout their presentation, Marshall Smith, Senior Advisor, B.C. Centre On Substance Abuse, listened with interest and patience to what they had to say. He sat there for a long time, and despite his busy schedule, courteously gave them the attention they deserved while they made their presentation.
After they completed their presentation, and when Mr. Smith got up so speak, they, along with Members of the Social Planning Council, got up and left the room.
Is this action representative of a refusal to listen to alternative treatment methods which involve abstinence rather than substitution treatment from a respected figure, or just plain rudeness?
To me, this gesture is just one more symptom of entrenched groups and attitudes that refuse to meet other groups, or consider alternative meaningful consultation and consensus in an atmosphere of civility and professionalism.
That underlying culture, if as I suspect it does, exists, and has so much to do with what is wrong Vernon and why an Activate Safety Taskforce was needed.