I attended the July 19 Courtenay city council meeting to hear the debate around Coun. Presley’s motion against the proposed homeless shelter.
I always enjoy a good debate. What I witnessed instead was an amazing, and rather sad display of petulance by city councillors Presley, Jangula and Theos, as they walked out of chambers to deny quorum.
I would not want to say that the whole thing had been staged but it effectively achieved what they could not get by democratic means, a deferment of the vote till next council meeting.
I had not seen these type of antics since the days of the old regional district when a former Courtenay representative, acting as chair, urged delegates to walk out. Fortunately at the time her advice was not heeded.
I am also appalled by the lack of compassion that many of the local businesses have shown around the homeless shelter. While they mouth platitudes, they were not there in the past when their support was needed, and you can bet, they will not be there in the future.
I try not to paint all local businesses with the same brush but they have to speak up if they do not support the position of their association and/or Chamber’s leadership. Otherwise their silence makes them complicit.
A shelter is needed. The location, after a long process, has been purchased. Now let us get it built and staffed before too many more winters set in.