A rally for the city to drop its lawsuit against the Maple Pool Campground owners saw dozens of supporters march from Simm's Park to City Hall on Monday.

A rally for the city to drop its lawsuit against the Maple Pool Campground owners saw dozens of supporters march from Simm's Park to City Hall on Monday.

Maple Pool rally brings dozens to steps of City Hall

  • Nov. 12, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

Maple Pool supporters marched Monday afternoon from Simms Park to Courtenay City Hall to protest council’s “treatment of the residents” at the campsite, as stated on the Friends of Maple Pool website.

Placard-bearing participants demanded help for the homeless and a halt to the lawsuit between the City and campground owners Dali and Jin Lin.

An estimated 60 supporters took part in the rally.

The Friends are a group of citizens who have proposed a way to bring the campsite into compliance with zoning and other regulations that precipitated the legal battle.

Maple Pool — which provides low-rent housing for 57 at-risk individuals — flooded in 2009 and 2010. The following year, the City initiated legal action against the Lins. Zoning prohibits the couple from housing people on the property. Advocates fear that most tenants would become homeless if evicted.

“Unfortunately, this issue has been politicized,” Coun. Doug Hillian said at Monday’s council meeting.

Coun. Starr Winchester concurs that “vulnerable” members of the community have been used as a “political football.”

Hillian notes an Aug. 6 letter from the city is a “genuine attempt to resolve the issue.” The letter says council is prepared to suspend the legal action until the new year to allow the group to attempt to bring the site into compliance.

Hillian also read a letter penned by Andrew Gower, who suggests Monday’s march was “nothing but political grandstanding” by some hopeful council candidates just days before Saturday’s civic election.

Though listed as a ‘Friend of Maple Pool,’ Gower does not represent the views of the Friends group or of his company, Wedler Engineering, but states his opinions and understanding of the situation.

While enforcing legislated land-use is a primary role of local governments, Gower feels the issue should have been resolved at least three years ago.

However, he credits the city for suggesting a unilateral rezoning to resolve the issue.

“This is a major move by the city and represents a massive concession to move this issue to conclusion,” Gower states.

The Lins retained Wedler Engineering in 2011 to assist with applications and the rezoning process.

As of 2012, the company has provided services on a pro-bono basis, contributing upwards of $6,000 to help the couple.

The case, which is before the Supreme Court of B.C., has so far incurred a six-figure expense.

Winchester credits the efforts of Gower and of Friends of Maple Pool member Mike Hamilton.

“I look forward to moving forward,” Winchester said. “Let’s remember: It’s about the most vulnerable people in our community.”





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

Just Posted

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from Comox ferry staff

After Dasher made a dash, ferry staff found her and got her home safe

A rendering of the Denman Green plans for the Kirk Road site. Image, DHA/Ronan Design
Denman Green finds new site for housing

Facing COVID delays, the project reached expiration date on initial site

A fawn stands in a field. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
MARS hoping to build fawn complex for rehab

Their goal is to raise $20,000 in a relatively short period of time.

Aspen Park in Comox is the latest school reporting a COVID-19 exposure. Screenshot, Google Maps
Fifth Comox Valley school reports COVID-19 exposure

Exposure at Aspen Park in Comox was reported for Feb. 22

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Most Read