Regional district offers homeless shelter ‘enticement’ to Courtenay

It's been more than two years since the regional district purchased property in Courtenay for the purpose of building a homeless shelter.

It’s been more than two years since the regional district purchased property in the 800 block of Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay for the purpose of building a homeless shelter.Jim Gillis would like to expedite things by letting Courtenay have the final say in the contentious issue. At Tuesday’s board meeting, the Area B director proposed to transfer the three lots to the City of Courtenay for $1 on condition that the land — or proceeds from the land, should the city dispose of the properties — be used for emergency shelter/supportive housing purposes, as intended when the district purchased the property.Gillis also proposed that $100,000 from a Vancouver Island Health Authority grant be transferred to the city to assist with the development of emergency shelter/supportive housing. “This might give us an opportunity to move expeditiously … to give the homeless accommodation,” Gillis said. He noted Mayor Larry Jangula, responding to a backlash from downtown Courtenay businesses, would like to change zoning to prevent homeless shelters from existing in the downtown core. Comox director Tom Grant favoured the requested action but suggested transferring a greater amount to Courtenay, the idea being to have decision-making under one jurisdiction. He first suggested transferring the entire $300,000 from VIHA that is earmarked for initiatives to address homelessness and healthy communities, but Gillis said there are too many non-profit groups needing money.Grant then suggested a $150,000 transfer.”My intention is to entice Courtenay to enter into an agreement,” said Grant, who feels one-third of the VIHA funding is not enough. Gillis thinks $100,000 is a fair amount based on Courtenay’s population. “Who else out there needs part of the $200,000?” he said. “It sets a new tone to where we are and what we’re about.”An amended motion to transfer $150,000 was defeated in a weighted vote, with Grant and Courtenay directors Starr Winchester, Jon Ambler and Manno Theos voting in favour. The board favoured a Theos motion to transfer a minimum of $100,000. Cumberland director Gwyn Sproule, the lone board member opposed, is not clear how transferring the property to Courtenay will help the situation. She notes money was collected by the entire Comox Valley and feels further discussion is needed. At the last committee of the whole meeting, Sproule’s motion to sell the entire Cliffe Avenue parcel, as opposed to leasing part of the property, was not seconded. At that same meeting, the board deferred a request from Det Kunz to purchase a 20-foot strip at 865 Cliffe Ave. until the June 12 committee meeting. Kunz owns the building next door at 841 Cliffe Ave.Along with the request to transfer money to Courtenay, Gillis also called for a repeal of a bylaw to establish an emergency shelter/supportive housing land acquisition service, if the trio of lots are transfered from the district to the city. The motion was deferred. “It’s time to be leaders in the community,” said Gillis, adding the cost of two lattes per year — $12 per household — would generate an additional $500,000 that could help deal with homelessness. “We have a problem here, let’s deal with it.”reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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

Just Posted

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Tentative COVID-19 vaccine site chosen in the Comox Valley

B.C. is moving into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 mass immunization plan

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

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

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

Preliminary design for a new composting facility at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre is ready to share with the public. Photo supplied
Facility to enable curbside organics collection in Comox Valley, Campbell River

The preliminary design for a new composting facility being built at the… Continue reading

Most Read