Should curling take priority over homelessness?

posted Jun 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM ; Roger Albert – Guest columnist What will it take? In 2008 the then mayor of Courtenay, Starr Winchester, wrote these words in a letter prefacing the release of Homeless!, the report of the City of Courtenay Mayor’s Task Force on Breaking the Cycle of Mental Illness, Addiction and Homelessness in the Comox Valley: “The issue of homelessness is complex and difficult to solve in isolation.  We recognize that resolving this issue will require the co-operation and partnership of all levels of government as well as community partners. “I strongly support the recommendations contained in this report and look forward to forming partnerships in order to address these very serious issues in our community.” That was six years ago. The mayor expresses strong support for the recommendations of the Task Force, including using a Housing First approach (Google it!). These are laudable words from the former mayor, but the recommendations of the Task Force are a long way from being achieved. It’s not as if nothing has happened to deal with homelessness, mental health and addictions in the community, but we’re still just managing the problem and not really getting anywhere in ending homelessness and creating affordable housing. I know our elected officials want to be fiscally responsible and I applaud them for that. To do the fiscally responsible thing now would be to implement a Housing First model and to create a CVRD service and a municipal non-profit society to manage and champion housing and service initiatives. We know that putting people in homes first and then providing them with adequate supports to deal with their physical...

Friends of Maple Pool counter Courtenay’s claims

by  Contributed – Comox Valley Record; posted Apr 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM Council chants the mantra of flood risk: “Some have commented that the risk from flooding is low and is limited simply to ‘wet feet’.” Most prominent is Judge Robin Baird who found “flooding in 2009/2010 was inconvenient and messy, but nothing more.” Further: •    Flooding in 2009/2010 was entirely due to releases of water by BC Hydro which far exceeded its guidelines; •    The City has in the past dealt with such potential legal liabilities by simple waivers of liability. Council cites ‘knee-deep or higher’ water in 2009/2010 — true on its face. But it is confined to sites removed/abandoned after the floods. There has since been no permanent residential occupation of these sites. The Court concluded ‘flooding was inconvenient and messy, but nothing more.’ Ladies and gentlemen of Courtenay Council: Elvis has left the building! Although flooding technically occurred in 2009 and 2010, a council with greater integrity and greater devotion to truth would have acknowledged floods occurred at the end of ’09 and beginning ’10; i.e., in one flood season and because of one-off special circumstances. ‘The property nearly flooded again in 2011.’ Who defines ‘nearly? The City was thoroughly thrashed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia when trying to make a case based on actual flooding in 2009/2010. Now council relies on ‘nearly?’ “We have attempted to resolve this situation outside the courts numerous times.” We challenge council to list and date the occasions on which they have made these numerous attempts. Councillors accuse campsite owners Dali and Jin Lin of neglecting for three years to initiate...