Meet the Mayor
November 5, 2014
A reporter recently asked me a few questions related to health care in Chetwynd. I thought I’d pass them on to you with an approximation of my answers to the reporter.
Question One: How is the health-care crisis in BC affecting Chetwynd? Well, I’m not sure that we are in health-care crisis mode yet in BC. Health care in BC probably mirrors much of what is happening across Canada. But I am pretty confident that I’d rather have to go to emergency here in Chetwynd than in, for example, Burnaby. Across Canada all communities are fishing in the same pool of potential recruits – and that pool is too small. This simply means that we have to show off Chetwynd as a highly desirable place to live and work. Are we up to it? Can we do it? Are we doing it now? And We is all of us.
Question Two: What is being done to bring doctors to our town? Recruiting to Chetwynd is really a three pronged approach in which Northern Health (NH), doctors now practicing here, and the District of Chetwynd cooperate in our recruiting efforts. Doctors know doctors. They are the best recruiters. NH is the Authority in charge of the entire system and is responsible for approving the credentials of potential recruits. NH has also hired a professional recruiter whose focus is on North-East placements. The District of Chetwynd promotes living in Chetwynd. Working together we hope to succeed until doctors are lining up to get a position in Chetwynd.
Question Three: Do we have any doctors committed to the new medical centre? Definitely. At least two of our present complement of doctors are committed to providing their services in the new centre.
Question Four: What can we do or what are we doing to make Chetwynd more appealing to family physicians? This is a big question. What would you do to make Chetwynd more appealing to skilled trades people, to business, to industry, to other professionals? We are all in this town together. It’s our home town and whatever I do to make my little corner of town more attractive to my neighbours is good business sense. It may be hard to measure on the balance sheet in the short term, but over time as we see our town prospering we see the results of our work.
There’s not a lot we can do about the weather beyond smiling as we shovel but we can, and most of us have, learned how to live with and enjoy the stuff the weather woman blows our way. For sure, we can’t import the Fraser Valley or the Sunshine Coast weather to Chetwynd. We have to adapt our responses to our circumstances and, for most of us, it works. We can enjoy snow (skiing, snowshoeing, ski doing, ice fishing); and we know how to enjoy sun.
Our role: demonstrate our enjoyment; demonstrate our welcoming spirit; care enough to do your very best.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor