EDITORIAL: Going backwards on the homeless situation in Parksville Qualicum Beach

We are in worse shape than we were a couple of years ago

We have a sinking feeling the region is not making any strides toward dealing with homelessness and affordable housing issues.

In fact, we may have taken steps backwards.

There was fanfare over a $10,000 grant MLA Michelle Stilwell handed to local advocates in April, money we thought would produce a plan for a shelter, affordable housing and support services.

That ‘plan’ was delivered to B.C. Housing in June. It has no drawings, no budgets, no meat, if you will. It contains details about what local advocates would like to see in a facility here, the same information that’s been bandied about for at least a year.

We have a difficult time understanding how the $10,000 was spent and we feel like we were duped into believing this grant was something significant.

In the last couple of years there has been a lot of discussion about issues around homelessness and affordable housing in Parksville Qualicum Beach. It’s all starting to sound hollow right now. Candidates in both the municipal and federal elections spoke about it, but now it just seems like it was a hot-button issue that needed to work its way into speeches and not something anyone was actually going to act upon.

There were meetings and panel discussions. There were presentations to municipal councils where everyone said the right things, but in the end have done nothing. There was a feeling, late last year, that some momentum was building.

That’s gone now.

What’s happened in the past few months in regards to homelessness and affordable housing in Parksville? The city passed a bylaw outlawing camping in certain parks, allowing it in others, with strict conditions. That had some neighbourhoods up in arms. The city said it would provide some land for a homeless shelter/affordable housing complex. Months after that announcement, not a peep from city hall.

Then we learned last week the Homelessness Task Force does not have a facility for its extreme weather shelter this winter.

The sum total of progress on issues surrounding homelessness in this region? We are worse off than we were a year ago. That’s so very disappointing.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach staff moving forward with report for cinema, brew pub

Councillor makes motion to include The Old School House proposal

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

Flock of spinners holding fleece and fibre fair in Coombs

Annual event raises money for Bradley Centre, supports local producers and vendors

Bowser residents protest marine sewage outfall plan

Veenhof and staff endures harsh criticisms at public information meeting

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

Most Read