I am responding to the letter submitted by Francois Lepine on Sept 5 — “No real estate for taxpayers.”
First, I have to say that this is the only time I have written a letter to the paper. There have been many times since the last election of City councillors that I have had the impulse to do so. However, reading Francois’s letter pushed me over the top.
Can it really be true that the City of Courtenay was given a land transfer from the CVRD in 2010 knowing it was for the express purpose of a homeless shelter, then sat on the land and the $100,000 that went with the transfer for over two years while the downtown business community raged over having a homeless shelter for the “throwaway people” because the proposed site was just a little too close to downtown?
I am a small business owner and I know what it means to watch my pennies. However, I also have a moral compass that guides how I treat those who are less privileged.
So I have to ask…
Can it really be true that the people we elected to City council gave in to fears of the downtown merchants over the needs of the disenfranchised citizens in our community?
We all know the property was there at no cost to the City. The startup money was there at no cost to the City. The service providers came forward. Committees were formed.
But in the end, the CIty sold its soul to the NIMBY community and sacrificed a huge loss both financially and publicly for it.
Now the rationale from the mayor is that we should not have to pay for building or maintaining shelters or being in the business of housing.
Any person with enough common sense can see City council is far more interested in taking care of business then taking care of ALL the citizens of the Valley.
Why not give the homeless/housing committee the hundred grand that was rightfully meant to go for that purpose?