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ROTHENBURGER: Coroner’s report provides a chance to break down a stigma

(Image: CFJC Today)

WHEN YOUTH HOMELESSNESS advocate Katherine McParland died a year and a half ago, she was eulogized for her work raising awareness and funding for kids aging out of the foster care system.

She knew whereof she spoke, since she herself had been homeless for a time in her teens. She founded A Way Home Kamloops with the aim of creating safe housing for homeless youth, and she was a force in this city.

After the BC Coroner’s Service announced this week that she died from an accidental drug overdose, the tributes were renewed. There was no condemnation, no suggestion that she had brought it on herself, no unkind comments about people on drugs or complaints about what they cost the system. Well, almost none.

Instead, there was sympathy and overwhelming praise for what she had accomplished in turning her adversity into something tremendously positive. And that’s how it should be.

And yet, there’s been much negative reaction to the publishing of the coroner’s report.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8893 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on ROTHENBURGER: Coroner’s report provides a chance to break down a stigma

  1. John Noakes // March 27, 2022 at 9:23 AM // Reply

    Goodbye Katherine, though I never, knew you at all
    The pain inside for all to see; the pain that caused your fall.
    Let God hold your hand, let Him heal the broken life you gave
    For kids who had nowhere to go, the ones you tried to save.

    And it seems to me, you lived your life, like a candle in the dark,
    That so many others wish they could in a world so stark;
    Your beauty and compassion, and your tender way
    Will always be remembered; will always with us stay.

    Goodbye Katherine, though I never, knew you at all
    Your grace has touched our lives today; in death you stand so tall.
    Goodbye Katherine, from so many showing how our grief,
    For someone taken far too young, renews our faint belief.

    And it seems to me, you lived your life, like a candle in the dark,
    That so many others wish they could in a world so stark;
    Your beauty and compassion, and your tender way
    Will always be remembered; will always with us stay.

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