Health care overwhelmed, community in crisis
Before I start, I want to say, yes, everyone deserves a home. Everyone deserves food, love and health care. Having said that, I want to draw your attention to what is happening to our emergency services here in the Cowichan Valley as a result of the numbers of homeless, addicted and overdosing people. Most of us are focused on what is happening on the streets. But please pay attention to what happens if you get sick.
Recently, a two year old boy fell from a slide, hit his head and was badly bruised. He was unable to stand. His mother rushed him to CDH, where they had to wait for five hours because of the number of addicts and overdosing people in Emergency.
In another case, a woman took her son, who was having a health crisis to CDH emergency. They were so overwhelmed with overdoses again, they had an ambulance drive him to Nanaimo, against her wishes, and by the time he got there, he was on the verge of slipping into a coma.
Ambulances from adjacent communities are being called here to Duncan because we do not have enough ambulances or paramedics. The fire departments have to pitch in and help. The police are overwhelmed. This is a community in crisis and the only thing our councils can do is talk about the 170 people here who are homeless and/or addicted. Most of these people are not from the Cowichan Valley. No one is talking about doing community impact studies before we build the mammoth 50 unit slums-in-the-making (think Warmland) that will be built adjacent to single family neighbourhoods to house these people.
Councils are not speaking out for the thousands of us who are impacted every day by the activities of the few.
Make no mistake, BC Housing was invited here to build those developments, BC Housing did NOT ask to come here, as is claimed. Mayor Staples’ apparent desire to make this a “pilot project addiction treatment community,” is destroying the very community in which she lives. It is right up there with the hens deciding to invite the foxes into the hen house. If you are outraged and think I am a horrible nimby, kindly re-read the first two sentences of paragraph one.
In a time of the worst economic and health disaster in a century, no council is talking about how to support the business community. Business owners and their staff are being threatened daily, both verbally and with weapons, by the very people that Duncan and North Cowichan councils want to house.
There needs to be more voices at the table as these decisions are being made. Business voices, neighbourhood voices, community voices, not just the few who are advocating for the homeless and addicted.
If something is not done, and done soon, we can kiss our town goodbye. And if you get sick, drive to Victoria or Nanaimo, since you will likely not get timely help here at CDH.