In the fall of 2010, the Environmental Health Officers on the Healthy Built Environments committee in Prince George decided it was important to reestablish connections with the City of Prince George and Regional District of Fraser-Fort George planning departments. With new staff at Northern Health and at the Municipalities, and with updated goals and priorities, it became imperative that we work closer to promote healthy communities. The Prince George Public Health Protection department wasn’t getting as many land use referrals from the City as we thought we should be getting. Upon meeting with the City, we determined that Northern Health actually used to charge to provide comments on land use proposals in Prince George. This highlights the importance of maintaining strong working relationships with our partners and stakeholders. We now receive all land use proposals for our comments and are able to not only incorporate the traditional feedback regarding water and sewage disposal, but we also provide comments on active transportation, clean air strategies, food security, and other applicable healthy community environment principles. For example, if it looks like land from the Agricultural Land Reserve is going to be taken and changed into Industrial Use, we will comment on potential impacts to food security in the area. We have received positive feedback from both municipalities for these comments.
Environmental Health Officer, Northern Health (BC)