Closing Maple Pool will not solve the homelessness issue; it will add to it

Fate of Maple Pool residents an ongoing issue for Courtenay council

Dear editor,

As I begin writing this letter I find myself consumed by two predominant feelings, one being confusion and the other embarrassment.

How can it be that we have a council whose members have said that they want to find solutions to the homeless problems in the Valley, yet they want to throw the people living in Maple Pool on the streets. Our council says that it’s concerned for the residents’ safety, yet they offer no timely alternative for these people. Does this council really think these people will be safer if they’re made homeless, is it really safer for them if they have to sleep under the Fifth Street bridge?

We have a council who calls for fiscal responsibility, and the need to raise taxes, yet this same council is more than happy to fork out over $100,000 in legal costs in the effort to kick low income people out of their homes. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how they think that is logical.

I would like each member of council to come forward and state what they personally feel about the Maple Pool issue and why. No more of the “in camera” meeting nonsense. Stand up, state your opinion and be held to account for it. Don’t say one thing “in camera” and then something different when the microphones are turned on.

Three years ago I ran in the municipal election, and the fate of the Maple Pool residents was a key issue, I’m astounded and embarrassed that it is still an issue. Three years have passed and all that this council has done is spent a ridiculous amount of money in legal costs continuing to try and kick them out. Just think of all the positive things that could have been done with that money, perhaps it could have been used to address the homeless problem in Courtenay instead of trying to add to it.

Zoning laws and regulations are made by people, which means that they can be changed by people, and in this case they should be changed; exceptions should be made. I have personally visited Maple Pool and toured the site, I’ve spoken with the owners and I’ve seen how much they care about the residents.

During the last municipal election I said that the people living at Maple Pool should be allowed to stay in their homes, in November I plan to run for city council again, and I continue to believe that the people of Maple Pool should be allowed to stay where they are.

Stu MacInnis,

Courtenay

 

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