Powell River Regional Hospital District will look into the prospect of a name change.
At the September 9 hospital district committee of the whole meeting, on the agenda from city director and committee chair CaroleAnn Leishman was a motion to direct staff to investigate the possibility of changing the letters patent from Powell River Regional Hospital District to qathet Regional Hospital District.
Leishman said staff had put together a motion based on her initial suggestion, but she wanted to propose an updated motion.
“Basically, we are looking for staff’s direction to let the regional board members know what the process would be to change the hospital district name,” said Leishman. “As we all realize, our regional district went through a name change, so really, the Powell River Regional Hospital District name is completely no longer valid. The hospital district does not just encompass the municipality of Powell River, it encompasses the entire region and Tla’amin Nation. It really is time to update the name of the hospital district.”
Leishman said on further reflection, she realized the motion that had been initially put forward was a way to get the ball rolling at this committee meeting. She said she didn’t really mean to put forward a suggested name, so she had revised a potential motion.
The motion read: That the committee recommend the board direct staff to investigate the possibility of changing the name of the Powell River Regional Hospital District, through letters patent, to something that more appropriately reflects the qathet region and the Tla’amin Nation, and that the chair of the hospital board write to Tla’amin Nation asking for their input into what the name should be.
Leishman said the motion would be congruent with having staff know what the process would be, and also, reaching out to Tla’amin Nation to see what the thoughts are around whether the name should be qathet-Tla’amin Hospital District or some other combination.
“I didn’t want to presume what the name would actually be,” said Leishman. “It sort of makes sense that it would encompass our region as opposed to just Powell River.”
Electoral Area D director Sandy McCormick said it was a great idea and it made a lot of sense for the regional hospital board to look into this.
Tla’amin Nation hegus John Hackett thanked Leishman for putting the motion on the floor.
“I look forward to bringing this back to leadership to collaboratively work on coming up with a name,” said Hackett.
City director George Doubt said he thinks a name change is a great idea.
“I think it’s a positive thing to do,” said Doubt. “For the rest of the members of the board, the city and Tla’amin Nation had a joint meeting with the minister of municipal affairs this week to talk about engaging in the process [of a name change]. I think everyone is pretty excited to try and work through a process to find the proper name for the city that will work for everyone.”
Leishman said it was a very good meeting and she was impressed with the minister.
“It was a great conversation,” said Leishman.
Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said reconciliation is created of elements of truth, justice, forgiveness, healing, reparations and love.
“Supporting reconciliation means working to overcome the division between the aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples in our community,” said Gisborne. “The voice, engagement and participation of the community, I believe, is an important and vital step in the work that we do. If the currently named Powell River Regional Hospital District wishes to change its name, then I see this as a wonderful opportunity.”
Gisborne said Tla’amin Nation is not a member of the qathet Regional District but is a sitting member of the Powell River Regional Hospital District. He said what this means is, unlike the regional district name change or city name change, Tla’amin Nation members are allowed to participate fully in the process as part of a full, regional, connected community.
“I believe this is a wonderful opportunity to really engage with all members of our community to do that work,” said Gisborne. “I’d like to see a bit more discussion between all of our communities.”
The regional hospital district committee of the whole unanimously carried Leishman’s revised motion to send the matter to the regional hospital board for consideration.