‘I’m so angry I can’t even cry right now’ Candlelight vigil held for Kelowna man who died at homeless camp

Shane Bourdin, a father of three, died at a temporary homeless camp earlier this week

Friends and family gathered at a candlelight vigil at Kelowna’s temporary overnight shelter at Recreation Park on Wednesday night to pay their respects to Shane Bourdin, a father of three who died in the area earlier this week.

During the event, approximately 75 people held glow sticks and candles around a memorial to honour Bourdin and the loved ones he left behind.

One person who traveled all the way from Alberta to attend the ceremony was Bourdin’s mother Theresa Whittier.

During the event, Whittier said she was frustrated that nothing more had been done to save her son’s life while he was camping in the cold.

“I’m so angry I can’t even cry right now. My son died being out here,” said Whittier.

“Now that he’s died, the city is rushing to put all these people indoors. Why did this not happen while my son was still alive?”

Whittier said her son has left behind a number of close family members, including three children.

“My son is dead. He’s gone forever and his kids will never see him again and neither will I,” she said. “I need to be proud of what he has done to help out all of his family down here in the tents. I’m so proud of my son and I’ll hold onto him in my heart forever.”

Kelowna resident Bryn McNair, who visited the shelter over the last two weeks to help out those in need, said Bourdin would often go out of his way to help other people.

“He always had a huge smile and was always willing to help,” said McNair

“If any of us came in with food or water, he was the first to say ‘Hey, can I help you.’”

Kelowna residents at the vigil also dropped off Naloxone kits and toiletries to help get people experiencing homelessness at the shelter through the winter.

According to officials, paramedics responded to a call for an unconscious man at Recreation Avenue site in the north end of the city early in the morning on Dec. 16. He was transported to Kelowna General Hospital, where he later died.

RCMP Const. Solana Paré said the B.C. Coroners Service was notified and is now investigating Bourdin’s death.

In November, the city moved people experiencing homelessness on Leon Avenue to two different temporary overnight shelters in the north end of the city — a site at Recreation Avenue and another at the base of Knox Mountain Park.

According to Homeless Hub, approximately 286 people are experiencing homelessness in Kelowna.

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

 

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery sharing wealth of online art

The CVPAG page will feature new artists and galleries every two weeks

Mary Lowther column: The beauty of Lady Godivas from the garden

So THAT’S where my Lady Godiva pumpkins went!

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Duncan’s Overdose Prevention Site to move this fall to new Wellness Centre

OPS will be part of new Wellness and Recovery Centre on York Road

Cowichan Music Festival stars denied chance at provincials due to COVID-19 cancellation

“We were grateful that we were able to hold the Cowichan Music Festival”

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Saanich mayor receives his foster bees through pollinator rental program

‘I feel like I’m an adoptive father,’ Fred Haynes says of his rented mason bee colony

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read