OUR VIEW: Devastating health report is a call to arms

We say: We are failing our most precious resource – our children

We’re hoping that everybody reading our front page story is as shocked as we are and as shocked as city councillors appeared to be when Health Officer Charmaine Enns delivered what can only be described as a devastating report on Campbell River’s state of health.

It’s easy to roll along happily in our lives thinking everything is hunky dory but when you get a report like that it shatters all illusions. At least, it should.

Campbell River has some significant health problems and as a community, as a society, we need to take this report seriously and, what’s more, take action on improving it. Never mind Money Sense’s skewed best city in Canada ranking – which always puts Campbell River at the lower end – this is a ranking that means something.

Drug and alcohol consumption is an epidemic but what’s worse is how we’re failing our children.

Reporter Kristen Douglas wrote: “Enns said cultural and societal factors that a person experiences through their first five or six years of life have a huge impact on the type of decisions a person will make throughout their life and often determine their place in society. And in Campbell River, the statistics show that often children are struggling from a young age.

‘“Campbell River children rate lower for standards of reading and writing to their counterparts in B.C. and the rest of the Island and the Campbell River area has a high rate of kids in need of care,” said Enns, noting that in Campbell River, 23 children per 1,000 kids require protection compared to 12 per 1,000 kids in the rest of B.C.’

If that doesn’t make your heart sink, you probably don’t have one. We are failing our weakest citizens our most precious resource.

This isn’t a warning, this is a call to arms.

What are you, individually, what are we, collectively, willing to do about this?

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