Situation table proposal gains support from Sechelt Council

The province has approached local governments about setting up a collaborative, streamlined process to connect vulnerable people in need with necessary services – a regional situation table – for the Sunshine Coast.

A situation table is categorized as a risk-based rapid triage system. This means it is designed to help front-line staff, ranging from public safety to social services, to identify vulnerable people and collaboratively connect them to the services they need.

The Town of Gibsons was recently approached by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, with the intent of creating a situation table on the Coast. While the formal proposal is being put together, local advocacy organization Cover the Coast reached out to the District of Sechelt for a letter of support for the initiative.

In the letter, Cover the Coast listed the benefits of establishing such a system:

• Offers a way for human/social service and justice professionals to improve service delivery, reduce barriers and connect individuals to the services they need;

• Uses a multi-lens cross-sector approach to viewing risk factors and their cumulative impacts;

• Is risk-driven as opposed to incident-driven, allowing the table to focus upstream and provide an opportunity to address situations of acute risk before incidents occur;

• Builds increased trust and strengthens inter-agency relationships.

Coun. Brenda Rowe spoke to the proposal and highlighted the success these tables have had in other communities throughout the province, saying, “I don’t see any reason not to support it.”

Coun. Darren Inkster voiced his support, saying that creating situations where citizens can gather to talk about local problems is important.

Coun. Dianne McLauchlan questioned whether or not it was essential to support the table and raised a few concerns. She warned of safety committee burnout from taking on too many projects and asked if the Sunshine Coast Regional District will also be sending a letter of support, saying that areas such as Elphinstone and Langdale are communities more in need of this type of support.

Coun. Adam Shepherd spoke in favour of the situation table, “If this is bringing more of the agencies who are working on these problems together, then we should be supporting it.”

The motion passed to send a letter of support for a situation table to the Ministry of Public Safety and Affairs and Solicitor General, with McLauchlan opposed.

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

Jordan Copp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Coast Reporter