Downtown Courtenay business group showing leadership on homeless issue

Dear editor,

I think we should all say hats off — no, hats off isn’t enough; we should offer our sincerest appreciation and respect to our Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association for their caring, responsible and statesmanly response to the issue of the CVRD’s plans for a homeless shelter in downtown Courtenay.

Dear editor,

I think we should all say hats off — no, hats off isn’t enough; we should offer our sincerest appreciation and respect to our Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association for their caring, responsible and statesmanly response to the issue of the CVRD’s plans for a homeless shelter in downtown Courtenay.

What a wonderful example of community leadership they have given us in being able to reevaluate their initial opposition and on more thorough examination — recognize that “helping the homeless is a moral and responsible initiative,” and go on to commend our civic leaders for their leadership.

Speaking for many in our community, I respectfully comment the DCBIA for their leadership in working to bring our community together around this issue.

It saddens me greatly to read of civic leaders like Manno Theos whose letter to your paper seems to be firing — Wild West-style — in any and all directions in hopes of hitting something somewhere that would directly or indirectly thwart the construction of a homeless shelter on the CVRD property.

I recently spoke to a public health professional who said the most effective (cost effective as well) treatment for mental illness among the homeless is (not too surprisingly) a warm, dry, secure place to live.

Indeed, while Theos cries about costs, studies nationally  and internationally amply demonstrate that providing the homeless with a dry, warm, secure place to live is the most effective way of bringing down the costs of homelessness.

The provision of supportive housing substantially reduces the burden on hospitals, psychiatric care, police, jails and emergency services.

The actual costs vary, but the pattern is clear: homelessness is expensive, and substantial broad cost savings of 40 per cent have been achieved by investing in secure — not just overnight in extreme weather — housing for the homeless.

And the value is much more than the dollars of cost savings.

What is the value of saving the life of a person from pneumonia or hypothermia? What is the value of being able to say that —regardless of the failings and imperfections of others — we did our part?

I can only hope — come the civic elections — a flood tide of Courtenay citizens will stand with our downtown business community and the good will of people all over the Comox Valley in recognizing that this “helping the homeless is a moral and responsible initiative” and needs to be respected by our civic leaders as well.

Norm Reynolds,


Just Posted

Temperatures are expected to soar by the weekend, with potentially record-breaking heat in the low 30Cs. Those looking to beat the heat in the ocean are advised to pack plenty of sunscreen and water. Black Press file photo
Potential record-breaking heatwave heading to the Comox Valley

“It’s the start of the season and we’re not quite acclimatized to warm temperatures”

Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed leadership of the Canadian Joint Operations Command on June 18. File photo
Vice-Admiral Auchterlonie assumes leadership of Canadian Joint Operations Command

On June 18, Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie returned to the Canadian Joint Operations… Continue reading

Bill Anglin (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation president & 50/50 Sponsor), Robert Mulrooney (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation board director & 50/50 sponsor), Jessica Aldred (Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation executive director), and Chris Morrison (Church St. Taphouse co-Owner and manager) in front of Church St. Taphouse in Comox. Photo submitted
Church St. tapping beer for Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation all week

With a heatwave hitting the Comox Valley this week, a beer on… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CSWM is working on engineering and design for the next landfill cell. Record file photo
CSWM makes budget change for new landfill cell

“It bears to note for the public, you’re paying for it one way or the other here.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

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

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Most Read