15,000-name petition against Kelowna supportive housing heads to B.C. legislature

15,000-name petition against Kelowna supportive housing heads to B.C. legislature

14,000 people have signed a petition to change the use of the housing facility under construction

A group of Rutland residents has collected more than 2,800 pages of signatures to show their opposition to a B.C. Housing project slated for 130 McCurdy Road, which would allow legal drug and alcohol use.

A total of 14,547 individuals signed the petition over the course of two weeks and on Sunday the signatures were handed over to Liberal Kelowna-Lake Country MP Norm Letnick.

“This took hundreds of volunteer hours to pull together and get done, many volunteers and thousands of people standing up for kids and seniors, signing their names, so that our government might change course and stop placing our children and seniors at risk… if we don’t stand up for our kids/seniors, who will?” said organizer Audra Boudreau in a Facebook post.

Letnick will present the petition to the B.C. Legislature on Monday, Nov. 25 after the question period. He will be making a brief statement and introduce the petition, which reads; “The petitioners request that the development at 130 McCurdy Road in Kelowna be ceased until public consultation occurs, perhaps looking into more suitable potential uses for the property.”

While the number of signatures would strongly suggest that the residents of Kelowna strongly disagree with the use of the McCurdy development, there is no guarantee the Minister will waiver in her initial decision to maintain a “wet” facility.

“I think the province already sent their decision to the people of Kelowna when the minister said that they would go from a first stage to a second stage facility, I think she basically made up her mind to ignore the petition and it is unfortunate that she’s taken that perspective,” said Letnick.

“As the voice for my constituency in Victoria, I believe that the petition should be respected and that the minister or BC housing should meet with residents and come up with a solution that would meet the needs of everyone.”

Boudreau hopes the residents’ signatures will persuade the provincial government to change its decision and use the building on McCurdy to house other people in vulnerable situations such as low-income, seniors or students.

“It is my sincere hope that the B.C. government changes their course, at least for the facilities here in Rutland. And that I have done right by you all with what I have tried to accomplish here for Rutland.”

“It would be so easy for B.C. to instead create rehab spaces, or low-income seniors/student housing. Or, if they want to continue down this road to nowhere that shreds billions of taxpayer dollars each year, at least have the decency to place these facilities nowhere near other large vulnerable populations and family-oriented neighbourhoods that will be harmed in the process. I hope they hear us.”

READ MORE: 14,147 signatures hard for Kelowna mayor to ignore: organizer

In July, Boudreau led the charge in collecting 14,147 signatures in protest of the McCurdy housing project.

Boudreau then brought the signatures before Kelowna city council, where Coun. Charlie Hodge put forward a motion to reconsider the rezoning for the B.C. Housing project slated for McCurdy.

But his motion was defeated, with only Hodge voting in favour of the reconsideration. The project, however, will change from a “wet” facility to a facility that will not allow the use of illegal drugs on-site, according to a statement read by Mayor Colin Basran prior to the motion for reconsideration.

At the time, Basran said the people who will live at the McCurdy facility will be further along in their journey to recovery. They will have experienced homelessness or may be at risk of homelessness, but they will have identified their need and desire for support in their recovery, he added.

The facility at 130 McCurdy is expected to be finished construction by 2021.

READ MORE:Kelowna’s McCurdy house gets operation model redesign


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is offering courses in drawing May through August 2021. (Submitted)
A&E column: Art is everywhere in the Cowichan Valley

What’s going in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

The CVRD introduces new app to contact residents during emergencies, a tool that chairman Aaron Stone says will improve communications. (File photo)
CVRD launches new app to spread information during emergencies

Cowichan Alert is a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones, computers

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

FILE PHOTO
Editorial: Time to roll up our sleeves and pitch in

They’re just not quite sure they want to get a vaccine — yet

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

Most Read