Health care and high speed important projects for councillor

Councillor Kim Maynard has always been focused on a healthy Princeton.

“My main goal when I ran in 2011 was I was upset about the hospital situation. Without an operating hospital a community really isn’t functioning properly. I was very worried where it was going and I knew of the doctor shortages in the entire province.”

Maynard was a member of the politically motivated Save our Similkameen, a group that took on numerous causes in the valley related to stewardship and the environment.

That was the association that first took up battle to keep the Princeton Hospital’s emergency room open in 2013 – a responsibility that was later transfered to members of the Support Our Health Care Society.

“I’m very proud of what we accomplished,” he said in an interview with the Spotlight.

Maynard even donated a building so that health care advocates had a place organize.

In a short time he became involved with The Princeton Health Care Steering Committee and is currently one of council’s representatives on that board and one of its three chair people.

“In May I went to the Rural Health Conference in Nanaimo and it was specifically for the purposes of recruiting doctors.”

Presently Princeton has five family doctors, one short of its compliment allowed for by Interior Health.

“I believe I have the respect of the doctors. I love the relationship with them that I have and I feel they can talk to me about anything…At this point keeping our doctors happy is a priority and as a council we can often assist.”

Another long term project undertaken by the former rancher, paramedic and mill worker has been securing high speed internet for Princeton.

“I’ve been working on that since 2013…just with discussions with different internet providers both by telephone and in person.”

While acknowledging it’s taken some time, Maynard hasn’t given up. “Quite far from it,” he said. “I’m optimistic we will be having an exciting announcement in the next few weeks.”

Maynard has also been the driver behind the acquisition of six electric vehicle charging stations in town – all at no cost to the municipality.

“I’m am very passionate about electric vehicle charging, both from an environmental aspect but also – darn it – I want our town to appear progressive and be progressive.”

One of the contributions to council of which he is most proud is his work on the Highway 3 Coalition, which has representatives from communities from the Alberta border to Hope.

That group lobbies government for highway improvements, and two years ago was effective in obtaining $26 million for re-construction on Highway 3 between Princeton and Hope.

There have been fewer accidents along the highway since those changes were made, he said.

“There was a corner there where I attended a couple of fatalities when I was a paramedic. And it’s just so rewarding to drive that highway now and look over to where that corner was [eliminated]while you are on a nice straight, safe piece of pavement.”

Maynard said he enjoys the opportunity to help residents.

“I love helping people out. I know government bylaws and laws in general can be both confusing and intimidating and I know people count on me to help them.”

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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