Hope and Area Healthy Communities Committee’s co-chairs Michelle Vandepol and Catherine Wiebe sit in the centre as Fraser-Cascade School District 78’s assistant superintendent Kevin Bird sits on Wiebe’s left.

Hope and Area Healthy Communities Committee’s co-chairs Michelle Vandepol and Catherine Wiebe sit in the centre as Fraser-Cascade School District 78’s assistant superintendent Kevin Bird sits on Wiebe’s left.

Fall fair attendance sees mixed results, Jan. 31 health committee hears

Also: a new team to develop a smoking bylaw and SD78 gets asked about whether their trades program benefits girls.

Hope and Area Health and Wellness Conference results

Hope and Area Healthy Communities Committee co-chair Catherine Wiebe presented the feedback of the Hope and Area Health and Wellness Conference, highlighting mixed attendance results.

She highlighted that they only gave out 117 flu shots at the October event, whereas typical numbers are 200 to 300. Wiebe said many factors contributed to it, highlighting it could be because people have gotten the flu shot beforehand.

Keynote speaker David Granirer, who mixed humour with mental health, saw all 100 seats filled. Wiebe rated Granirer’s discussion as “really good.”

Wiebe noted that about 250 people attended throughout the day, saying that historically 300 to 400 people would turn up.

Wiebe highlighted that navigating the Hope and District Recreation Centre, where it was held, was the biggest issue.

“But they thought that the positive of that is that it gave people exposure to the rec centre,” said Wiebe. “Many of them had never been to the rec centre before.”

One person got stuck in the elevator and there was no one operating the elevator, Wiebe said.

Wiebe said holding the event at the rec centre could work again with some alterations including having people giving directions at the door, more signage and having an elevator operator.

Other suggestions included having smaller keynote speeches, rather than one large one that was separated from the booths. Also, it was suggested to have room dividers for more privacy, having flu shots on the main floor, advertising earlier and sending donation letters out earlier.

BC Community Response Network’s Sharlene Harrison-Hinds said hosting events in the corridor between the Hope Arena and the front desk did not allow for any privacy.

“There were people walking by, people poking their head in and when you’re giving a presentation, it’s helpful if it’s enclosed,” said Harrison-Hinds.

SD78 careers and trades

Fraser-Cascade School District 78 assistant superintendent Kevin Bird requested their vice-principal of careers and transitions Karl Koslowsky to present to the committee.

Bird said the school district saw, in the last two years, students leaving school before graduating.

“Especially if they weren’t doing well — thinking, ‘There’s no value in this. There’s nothing at the end of this line for me. I can go and get the same job that I would get two years later,’ ” said Bird.

He added that no other Fraser Valley school district has developed a comparable trades program, and other school district have tried to poach SD78’s employees to start their own program.

Koslowsky said they are making a one-stop repository where people can get information of their programs.

Read Right Society’s Jodi McBride asked whether girls are benefiting from SD78’s programs.

“Trades — not to use stereotypes but they’re really male driven, and I’m curious if you’re noticing any impacts on how this is impacting the female students,” said McBride.

Koslowsky replied that he does not see any gender biases in jobs these days, adding that female students in their welding program did “extremely well,” and one has moved on to getting a heavy mechanic certificate. He also added that a gender-balanced number of students signed up for a grooming and beauty program.

He added that Riverside College, in Mission, is also having a women in trades day, and they are marketing to senior-level students.

“We do our best to break that stereotype to say there is no glass ceiling, to say there’s no job that you can’t do,” said Koslowsky.

Smoking bylaw and cessation program

Healthy communities care coordinator Anne Todd will lead a group to update a smoking bylaw.

Hope’s smoking bylaw was written in 2008, and provincial regulations were updated last fall, prompting Todd to say it needs an update and enhancements.

Twenty-two per cent of Hope residents say they smoke and Hope has above-average respiratory illness rates.

Todd also contacted QuitNow to get them to Hope to train people on smoking cessation topics such as how to approach people who want to quit smoking, the challenges and pharmaceutical products. She needs a minimum of 10 registrants for a 7.5 hour session on March 11, 15 or 16.