Comox Valley Regional District supporting hospice funding bid

The executive director of the Comox Valley Hospice Society appealed to the regional district committee of the whole.

Terri Odeneal, executive director of the Comox Valley Hospice Society, appealed to the regional district committee of the whole to advocate on its behalf for funding from the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

She encouraged the district to follow the lead of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, which contributed a $50,000 grant-in-aid to its area hospice.

The Comox Valley society operates on a $265,000 annual budget with no core funding from VIHA.

Since Courtenay is described as the baby boomer capital of Canada, Odeneal notes an exponential demand for hospice services.

She suggests VIHA needs to make hospice a priority — as Premier Christy Clark has stated.

Courtenay director Starr Winchester said the time has come for the CVRD to step up to the plate.

“We could play a major role advocating for hospice,” Winchester said.

Her motion to write to VIHA, area MP John Duncan, area MLA Don McRae, Health Minister Terry Lake and Clark met with unanimous approval.

“I think we have to get hospice front and centre,” said Area B director Jim Gillis, who suggests forming a hospice committee.

Hospice care is sometimes called palliative care or end-of-life care. It is designed to provide compassion and support for individuals facing life-limiting illness, as well as their families.

• • •

The committee approved a motion from Comox director Tom Grant to write a letter opposing compensation of the Comox Valley Airport Commission board.

The letter will, however, acknowledge the excellent work of the CVAC board, which is required to seek nominating entities’ advice when considering a bylaw amendment on matters of substance.

CVAC is revisiting its recruitment and retention practices, including the issue of remuneration for board members. The bylaw says directors are not to receive pay.

“If you’re going to be a volunteer, you shouldn’t ask for money,” Grant said, noting hundreds of local volunteers who sit on boards without being paid.

Cumberland director Gwyn Sproule agreed that “compensation would open a can of worms.”

CVAC commissioned a study to identify reasons for and against moving towards a compensated model. The study looked at several non-profit transportation boards across Canada. Grant noted the other airports studied operate aerodromes and deal with runway issues, as does CFB Comox.

“They (CVAC) basically operate a terminal,” Grant said.

CVAC has sought input from the three Valley municipalities, all of which oppose a compensated model.

• • •

Immigrant Welcome Centre executive director Rachel Blaney requested the district’s participation in the Cultural Ambassador Program and coming immigration roundtable meetings — two aspects of the organization’s Welcoming Community Action Plan.

The centre served upwards of 500 people from more than 40 countries in the past 18 months. Its largest service groups are Vietnam at 13 per cent, China at nine per cent and Korea at four per cent. Most people served are naturalized citizens.

Blaney also appeared at Courtenay council.

The first roundtable meeting is June 25 from noon to 2 p.m. at North Island College.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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