Powell River Regional Hospital District will consider directing staff to create a report on a potential regional hospital district name change.
At the January 13 regional hospital district committee of the whole meeting, directors considered correspondence from Peter Pokorny, BC Ministry of Health associate deputy minister of corporate services, which was a reply to a letter sent by qathet Regional District (qRD) chief administrative officer Al Radke dated October 8, 2021, enquiring about a name change.
In the correspondence, Pokorny stated there is nothing in the Hospital District Act preventing regional hospital districts from changing names. Pokorny stated this is comparable to the process when Powell River Regional District changed its name to qathet Regional District.
At the hospital meeting, city director CaroleAnn Leishman, who chairs the regional hospital district, said the response regarding the province’s expectations around a name change was expected.
“I just want to point out that the board has sent a letter to Tla’amin Nation asking for any discussion on this,” said Leishman. “I don’t believe we’ve had a response yet on any potential name or the support.
“I just wanted to let the committee know there is no money budgeted in our hospital district budget to start a consultation engagement process with the community if we get a positive response from Tla’amin that a name change would be preferred.”
Leishman said the committee could consider putting some money into its 2022 budget for an engagement process, as long as there is support from Tla’amin.
The committee voted to receive the correspondence from Pokorny.
Leishman then asked for a motion recommending the hospital district board get some funding in the budget for a prospective name change.
City director George Doubt said he wanted to make a motion that a report from staff be requested for the next meeting about the possible cost and considerations for a public consultation for a potential regional hospital district name change. Radke suggested the word consultation be changed to engagement. Doubt said that sounded like a wise idea, so the motion was amended.
Doubt said getting a report from staff would be useful to do so there is time to put thought into how the hospital district would want to go about the process, pending input from Tla’amin.
qRD Electoral Area E director Andrew Fall said beyond changing the name, the hospital district should think of this as a process for reconciliation.
“The important part to me is that it is done in that context of reconciliation in helping communities come together, coming up with another name, understanding why it should possibly be changed, and what the new name could be,” said Fall. “At the end, ideally, it brings everyone together behind a new hospital district name.”
The committee unanimously carried the motion for the staff report.