BC Coroners Service decision is short-sighted and bad for valley

Just another provincial government decision that’s bad for the North Thompson Valley.

Just another provincial government decision that’s bad for the North Thompson Valley.

That is how we view the decision by the BC Coroners Service to award a contract for the collection of the bodies of those who die suddenly or unexpectedly in the Valley to a company from Kelowna.

Up until this spring, the bodies of those who died suddenly or expectedly at home, on the highway or elsewhere in the North Thompson Valley typically were collected by North Thompson Funeral Services and held in Clearwater or Barriere, unless needed for autopsy in Kamloops.

Now it appears that all are being taken to Kamloops.

Most of us don’t like to think about death, and definitely we do not like to think about sudden and unexpected death.

It does happen, however, and when it does the way it is handled can make a huge difference in how the family and the community recover.

When a loved one dies, we do not want his or her body lying at home any longer than possible. Even less so if the body is next to the highway.

And when someone comes to collect that body, we would prefer to have a familiar face and a person we have confidence in to handle the matter with dignity and compassion.

Up until about a decade ago there was no funeral home in the North Thompson Valley. The funerals and other services for deceased Valley residents were almost all handled out of Kamloops.

Then Drake Smith opened North Thompson Funeral Services and we found out what we were missing.

We have no idea if this decision by the BC Coroners Service will affect the viability of that business, but why should the thousands of Valley residents who benefit by having a local funeral service be asked to take that risk?

Over the years we have seen the Ministry of Forests, BC Parks, social services and other provincial government agencies scale back their operations in the Valley as they attempt to centralize to Kamloops and Victoria.

We can tell them that it doesn’t work. Experience will no doubt eventually teach them that long-term effectiveness is far more important than short-term efficiency. We just hope that they will learn that lesson before it is too late.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

High winds could lead to dangerous snowmobiling conditions

Advice for staying safe on the mountains Family Day weekend

Clearwater Library hosting open house

Event takes place Feb. 15 from 2—4 p.m.

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Most Read