Last November Interior Health stated it had cleared the mental health centre’s location - shared with a shooting range - as safe. Photo credit Andrea DeMeer

BC mental health clubhouse – paired with shooting range – shuts down in less than a week

Health authority does about-face after unrelated $628k fine from WorkSafeBC

Just four days after it opened, a clubhouse to serve people living with mental health and addiction in Princeton BC was shut down.

Kn ala Inclusion House opened July 2, but was closed July 6 by Interior Health, which cited safety concerns regarding its location.

That announcement was made Wednesday, on the heels of a WorkSafeBC judgment imposing a $628,034 fine against the health authority.

The penalty, published June 30, is linked to an incident that occurred in August 2016 when the program was named Anchorage. It was operating on a temporary basis out of the same location on Kenley Avenue.

The property is owned by the Town of Princeton. It was previously occupied by Princeton Family Services, which shared the building with the Princeton Gun Club and its shooting range.

The gun club continues to occupy half the building.

According to the WorkSafeBC website, “one worker was working with a client when a member of the public tried to enter the centre.

“After being denied entry, this person assaulted both the worker and the client. WorkSafeBC’s investigation determined that the employer had not conducted a violence prevention risk assessment, and had not developed specific violence prevention procedures that took into account the risks associated with the particular worksite.

“The employer is being penalized for failing to ensure the health and safety of its workers, and for failing to conduct an assessment of violence risks to its workers. These were both repeated and high-risk violations.”

The assault investigated by WorkSafeBC was not related to the gun club or its activities.

A press release issued Tuesday by Interior Health stated:

“Safety is a key priority for us at Interior Health,” said Danielle Cameron, mental health and substance use health services administrator for IH Central. “IH has reviewed the findings of the WorkSafeBC investigation into the 2016 incident and determined that the Kenley Avenue [building] is not suitable from a safety perspective. For that reason, we have asked the service provider to cease operations at their current building and find a new location within 90 days.”

A mainstay of Princeton mental health services, the Anchorage clubhouse closed in January 2015 after the building it occupied – also on Kenley Avenue – was sold.

Program services were offered out of the Princeton Family Services building, and then the Princeton General Hospital, while a committee of local stakeholders worked, and lobbied Interior Health, for a permanent location.

That issue seemed resolved last November when Interior Health announced it had reached an agreement with the Town of Princeton to rent the Kenley Avenue location for $1 a year.

At that time Kevin Fraser, manager of mental health and addiction services for IH, told The Spotlight: “We went through our risk management department and thoroughly reviewed the situation…We assessed the potential risks and found none.”

While the shooting range has a shared entrance with the rest of the building, it is separated by walls that are eight inches thick and a triple-locked steel door.

No weapons or ammunition are stored at the facility, and the gun club is not permitted to use the building if there is anyone else present.

In March the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society was contracted by IH to operate the Kn ala Inclusion House mental health drop-in centre at this location.

The health authority’s release also stated: “The LSCSS continues to run regular activities for clients Monday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the community, including coffee clubs, outings and wellness clinics. Other facility-based programming will resume once a new permanent location is secured.

The Spotlight was unable to contact representatives from Interior Health or the LSCSS, but will update this story as more information becomes available.

Just Posted

Accused pleads not guilty as Trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder

Colin John quietly entered not guilty pleas to both charges.

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

Ladysmith Interact Club collecting food donations for those in need

On November 22nd and 23rd, Interact Club will be at the Ladysmith… Continue reading

Caps fall to Clippers in Nanaimo on Friday night

Clippers’ tying and winning goals come in less than a minute

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

B.C. woman allegedly threatens to rip out intestines of American man

A Kamloops-area woman is accused of harassing and threatening to disembowel an American man

B.C. model looks a lot like expanded taxi industry, ride-hailing group says

Ridesharing Now for BC says it had hoped the bill would be more customer-driven like in other cities

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Awards will recognize business excellence on Vancouver Island

Nomination period begins for Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

Most Read