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

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

B.C. doctors encourage patients to reach out for telephone or online care during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
How was your virtual care experience through the Omineca Medical Clinic?

The clinic has an online survey for patients in the region

Blackwater Gold Mine. (File photo)
Artemis Gold plans phased approach for Blackwater Project

Artemis Gold will directly employ up to 580 people during the initial construction period

John Rustad poses for a photograph infront of St. John Hospital in Vanderhoof after he made the announcement of investing in Hospitals in the area. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Rustad announces St. John Hospital upgrade if BC Liberals are elected

The incumbent BC Liberals MLA for Nechako Lakes made the announcement on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Lesley Chaisson, Manager, Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce. (Submitted photo)
“We Are Open Campaign”: Vanderhoof Chamber promoting local businesses

Chamber embarks on multi-faceted approach to promote small business

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read