Economic development helps us keep services


A recent trip to Kamloops hospital reminded me of how many government services we are losing from Williams Lake.


A recent trip to Kamloops hospital so that my wife could have a procedure performed reminded me of how many government services we are losing from Williams Lake and the greater Cariboo-Chilcotin community.

School closures, Forest Service closures, and who knows what other things the government has quit or will quit providing services for. Requiring us to travel great distances for a procedure that at one time might have been performed here in Williams Lake is a definite reminder of how important it is to have a growing, rather than a declining, population in this centralized community.

The recent driver’s licence issue for senior drivers being required to travel to Prince George, Kamloops, or even Kelowna to take a driving exam reflects upon the lack of importance the government is placing on this former centralized Cariboo community. As this community loses population to the changing trend in the forest industry, the population will be increasingly required to travel further and further afield to obtain services that were once available locally.

For my wife and I, as senior citizens to travel to Kamloops, the cost for this travelling comes out of limited pension funding. Is this not indirect taxation? For somebody living in, say, the West Chilcotin, the cost to travel to distant centres including overnight stays can and could be quite overwhelming.

It is hard to believe, but my son had to take his son to Vanderhoof to have his tonsils removed. Many people have to travel great distances to have cancer treatment, heart surgery, and joint replacement; the procedure may be covered but transportation and overnight or longer stays for concerned family members is not covered.

The question we need to ask ourselves is, are we doing all we can to help Williams Lake regain its former premium and important role as a centralized community serving the greater Cariboo and Chilcotin? If we are not doing all that we can do, are we not at the same time indirectly increasing the personal tax burden and life stress on our aging population for them and their families being required to travel further and further afield for services and treatment?

We may not like speaking up for some forms of economic development in this greater area; however, without population growth we will continue to lose currently available services at an increasing personal cost.


Doug Wilson

Williams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered after Vancouver Island boat fire

Remains of a 60-year-old woman recovered after Feb. 27 boat fire took her life

Most Read