Protesters march past the site of Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre on York Road on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Protesters march past the site of Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre on York Road on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Hundreds march against location of safe injection site

A Voice for Our Children opposes centre being near schools, recreation sites

Well over 300 concerned citizens marched from Cowichan Secondary School to Quamichan School on Saturday morning to voice their opposition to the location of Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre.

The march passed by the location of the centre on York Road, which will provide services, including a safe injection site, to people with substance-abuse and mental health issues. Organizers of the march are not opposed to the centre but to its location, which is close to four schools, the Cowichan Community Centre, Cowichan Aquatic Centre and Cowichan Sportsplex.

“We understand the service is very much needed,” said Jas Doman, one of the founders of A Voice for Our Children. “But it is not needed 400 metres from Quamichan School, it is not needed 400 metres from Cow High, and it is not needed 500 metres from Alexander Elementary.

“We just want to feel heard. We want to feel heard by [Island Health]. They didn’t speak to one person before they did this.”

Once they gathered at Quamichan, protesters listened to speeches from local business leaders and residents of the area near Warmland House and the new Wellness and Recovery Centre, talking about the changes in the community over the last decade, and concerns about how the increase in substance abuse and homelessness has affected health care and education in the Cowichan Valley.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous that we have to do this,” said Florie Varga, another founder of A Voice for Our Children. “This was done under a veil. There was no community consultation or impact assessment. This is direly needed, but there are multiple interests in a community, and all those interests need to be considered.”

More to come

cowichan valleyIsland Health

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

Just Posted

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

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

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Experts now predict 33.6% rise in B.C. home sales for 2021

BCREA economists also predict home prices to increase by 14.3%

B.C. Auditor General Michael Pickup in 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. didn’t effectively manage conservation lands program: auditor general

Michael Pickup says staff had limited approaches to resolving the unauthorized use of the most at-risk conservation lands

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Majority of council salutes new flag for Salmon Arm

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

Most Read