Statement to HEU members on Christenson Village incident

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The Hospital Employees’ Union is expressing its support for residents and staff at the Christenson Village care facility in Gibsons – the site of a shooting incident late Tuesday afternoon.

“This is an unimaginable tragedy for residents and their families, and for our members who work at Christenson Village,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

“And on behalf of our 43,000 members, I extend our sympathies and best wishes to those injured in this incident, and to their loved ones.”

HEU members from across B.C. have called the union’s Provincial Office expressing their concern for the welfare of residents and workers at the facility.

Darcy says the union has been in close touch with its local at the Good Samaritan-operated facility where it represents about 130 staff including LPNs, care aides, clerical staff and support workers.

“Our members in Gibsons are obviously badly shaken by this incident,” says Darcy. “Nevertheless, they have continued to focus on the well-being of their residents through this crisis.”

The union was directly contacted by the employer in the early stages of this incident and was assured that trauma counseling was in place for workers at the site as early as last night.

Darcy says the union will work with WorkSafeBC and other investigating bodies to determine what factors led to the shootings, and how such incidents can be avoided in the future.

“I am sure that our members at Christenson Village are strengthened by the support and concern that’s been expressed by fellow HEU members,” says Darcy.