Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Uplands Opposition Addresses Council

Concerned Citizens of Nanaimo Present
City Council With 1400 Name Petition

Last night's council meeting saw four people address city council expressing their opposition to the low barrier housing project on Uplands Drive beside the firehall. They presented council with a 1400+ signature petition supporting their position.

For those of us who listened to the residents of the Quarterway and hospital area, the arguments are very much the same. One of the common threads with both groups is a feeling of lack of proper consultation before these locations were chosen. In addition, there is conflicting evidence as to whether this type of housing ( 30 - 40 units ) actually is successful in helping people get free from their addictions. There is actually little to no supporting studies from the proponents of this program proving that this high density approach is helpful.

Those opposed make some compelling arguments against the high density approach and reference several sources to make their case. One being people involved with the program in New York City that places individuals in apartment buildings throughout the community rather than in one building. The statement from the Duncan RCMP Inspector saying they had 150 calls to the Warmlands site in 12 months should give some cause for concern. However, the local RCMP have come out four square in support of the projects planned for Nanaimo.

If anything is clear in this whole issue, it is safe to say that nothing is truly clear or cut and dried. It would appear that this approach of high density housing is a social experiment yet to be proven. Only time will tell if the opponents or the proponents are correct. One other thing that is clear is the fact that once again VIHA is noticeably absent from the discussion which requires city councilors to take the heat for several issues they will have no control over. There is no denying the fact that this whole exercise on the part of the city hall 'handlers' could have been improved.

This also points to the fact that most people don't much care what is going on in other parts of the city, as the Uplands group never seemed to pay any attention when the Quarterway and hospital area citizens were expressing their concerns about the projects planned for their area. People everywhere, might find they have a better form of government and have more say in things that affect them, if they actually participated in the process on an ongoing basis.

Time will tell if this becomes a political hot potato during the upcoming civic elections. As councilors who support the supportive housing plan, in it's present form are likely to see several thousand ballots not cast in their favor.



  1. I don't necessarily agree with the Wet Housing concept -- I am for Treatment not abetting. However it is time the northerners realize that all parts of Nanaimo must share. What makes them think they are any better than south nanaimo or Harewood.

  2. Just because some people are opposed to this facility is not a reflection on all so called "Northerners." I wish we could keep such silly irrelevant talk out of this serious discussion.
    As for the post mentioning this is an untried approach. This is not entirely accurate. The concept has been tried in other Canadian cities and many US and European cities. A simple google search for the "housing first" concept will start you on your research.

  3. I think part of the problem with paying attention to other parts of the city is if it isn't directly in your area you sort of skim the news. The Nanaimo Daily News has been extremely pro low barrier housing, I accepted it at face value when it wasn't my neighbourhood....the motivation to google what exactly low barrier housing was really wasn't there. It was a mistake! They accused HANA of everything they are now accusing us of. Two unrelated groups have come to the same conclusion about this despite the cheerleading from the local media and the newspapers, who while cheerleading seem to have no real answers to the concerns both groups have raised. It's frustrating. In some ways I think they divided us and conquered us by staggering the announcements. I wish I had realized what was happening in the hospital area last spring.

    PS you should have run for council :P


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