Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do Councilors Listen?

Why Voters Are Apathetic?

We recently went through a civic byelection, which seemingly did not garner much public interest, with 90% of eligible voters not participating. There is much speculation as to why we seem to slowly be killing democracy in our country and wiser minds than mine may or may not find the answer.

We currently have an example developing in our city of Nanaimo surrounding the issue of building 'wet housing' otherwise known as supportive housing and also known as low barrier housing. Regardless of what title you wish to hang on it, this type of housing is designed to provide shelter for people with drug and alcohol and mental health issues. These would be the people incapable of finding housing using the housing allowance already available to them on social welfare. These places will not be housing the single parent just trying to keep it together.

There are two groups of concerned citizens living in the hospital and Quarterway school area who are seriously opposed to the idea of putting 70 such housing units within spitting distance of Quarterway School and an area with considerable senior housing. It should be noted that originally the plan for this area would have seen in excess of 100 such housing units.

One of these groups addressed city council on Monday night and among other things presented a petition with 1000+ names expressing their opposition to these two projects in such close proximity and also the density of either of the developments.

In spite of the public opposition to the project on Bowen Road, Council gave first and second reading to a bylaw which would allow this project to proceed. There will be a public hearing on the matter April 14 in Shaw Auditorium, where supposedly, city staff will fairly listen to the concerns of the affected residents.

It will be interesting to see, as this unfolds whether the opinion that: " it doesn't matter who you vote for, they just do what they want anyway" proves to be true. If so, local council can shoulder partial blame for their part in slowly killing democracy in Nanaimo.

The following map shows the locations of wet housing projects as currently planned by city staff and approved by city council.
Click Image To Enlarge

There is a new page titled "WET HOUSING' which will be devoted to this topic until it's conclusion. There is a tab above to open that separate page. Proponents and Opponents are invited to contribute their thoughts on this hot topic.


1 comment:

  1. "they just do what they want anyway" Isn't an just an opinion it happens. One does not have to dig very deep to find examples of this.


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