Are The Gardens on political radar?

It will be interesting to hear candidates' responses at upcoming forum

Many Qualicum Beach residents will be anxiously awaiting answers to their questions when they gather to hear the opinions and rationales expressed by the various candidates running for town council in this November’s municipal election.

They will be anxious because the answers could directly affect their chosen or necessary lifestyles as well as their physical and mental welfare.

On Thursday, November 3 at 10 a.m. all municipal candidates will meet with residents and the public at The Gardens in Qualicum Beach to address their questions and concerns. Residents of The Gardens, in particular, will be anxious because the next QB council may well be responsible for decisions made about proposed changes to The Gardens’ interior public areas and residents’ living spaces.

The Gardens has been under new ownership since early this year at which time its residents were assured it would be business as usual. Since that time, the owners, Retirement Concepts (RC), has come up with many drastic proposed changes to the interior of the building.

At meetings with residents and the public, held in July and August, RC’s renovations were soundly rejected by a full house of attendees.

The August meeting brought several concessions from RC to the residents’ concerns. The concessions, however, were overwhelmingly in response to the concerns of The Gardens’ independent residents, addressing very few concerns of the Third (Care) Floor.

Understandably, not many of those residents were able to be present at the meetings to express their concerns, and were thus dependent on friends and family members as well as many supportive independent residents to make their needs known.

Are RC’s lack of considerations and concessions to these residents’ lives because they, through no fault of their own, are less able to stand and defend the quality of their homes?

To date the town council has voted not to change the zoning of The Gardens to allow the proposed changes. (See Bylaw No. 580.64 – Staff Recommendation – Special Council Meeting, July 27, 2011.)

A recent letter from RC to Gardens’ residents and families states the following: “We are putting our expansion plans on hold for the time being to allow us time to properly review the feedback from the various parties and to conduct additional consultation with town staff.”

Most concerned people are reading the letter to mean, “Let’s wait until after the election and see if the new council will see it our way.”

Are all candidates for QB council now familiar with RC’s July and August proposals for The Gardens? Have they seen the proposed plans? Have they read the minutes and reports on the July and August meetings? Have they seen the petitions signed by Gardens’ residents which were delivered to the mayor and all councilors after the August meeting?

Have candidates talked with residents and their friends and family members?

Are they familiar with the original ‘incubation’, planning, and completion of The Gardens itself? Do they know the reasons behind The Gardens’ design and amenities?

Have they considered how the facility fits into the community?

Most important … have candidates considered the wellbeing — physical, mental, and social — of Gardens’ residents, with careful thought for those who depend upon others to defend the only home and amenities they may have?

What are the candidates’ leanings when it comes to drastically decreasing the size of a third floor sun room, a necessary source of natural light and the confined residents’ main window on the world … to make space for more private pay rooms?

What of taking away public celebration and entertainment areas to cram dining tables closer together, and deduct more natural light, so more private pay units can be squeezed within present walls? (quoted from The News, 10/21: “… a lower demand for private pay beds.”)

All these questions and more will be voiced at the November 3 all candidates meeting at The Gardens. We’ll be listening for the answers.

— Nancy Whelan is a regular News columnist and lives in

Oceanside.

 

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

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach resident Harold MacDougall won $75,000 off a Casino Royale II Scratch & Win ticket, purchased the ticket at Qualicum Foods on Memorial Avenue. (BCLC photo)
Qualicum Beach man $75K richer thanks to scratch-and-win ticket windfall

MacDougall plans on trips to Cape Breton and Scotland

Regional District of Nanaimo will be receiving $1.17 million from the B.C. government in COVID-19 safe restart grant money. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo directors getting started on budgeting decisions

Proposed tax requisitions for 2021 range from 7.3-per cent increase to 2.2-per cent decrease

David Darmadi, owner of Kalvas - The Log House restaurant, is offering a sweet initiative for SOS. Guests can bring in a new, unwrapped gift or financial donation for SOS, and receive a free dessert. (Lissa Alexander photo)
Sweet initiative to support Parksville Qualicum Beach residents

‘A lot of our guests are very generous and they want to help out’

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

The property at 113 and 161 Island Highway is currently being dismantled as the developer attempts to salvage ‘usable’ lumber for their development application to the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers application to staff for further improvements

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read