Democracy is dead
Before I begin with the main intent of this letter I would like to say that the majority of homeowners in our area would be more than happy if the homeless people in our area were provided with warm, comfortable accommodation. However, the people who are attempting to do so have done a very poor job with previous locations and have chosen this one, 610 Trunk Rd., with little or no public input. At an earlier information meeting someone asked if drug use was going to be allowed on the site and the answer was yes. Naturally, these conditions do not provide the residents of Duncan who have to pass that area on their way to town, any confidence in the ability of Cowichan Housing to provide a safe environment for the public, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable.
The meeting with Duncan City Hall on Zoom Monday, Dec. 13, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that democracy is indeed dead in the Cowichan Valley. The mayor and city council were unwilling to even consider the concerns of the homeowners who are going to be impacted by the ill-considered placement of a homeless shelter in our immediate neighborhood. Many elderly tax-paying residents of Duncan live near the proposed development site and many expressed their fear of being accosted by the drug dependent individuals who are going to be living at 610 Trunk Rd.
It was appalling to hear during the meeting that most of the individuals who support the shelter live in communities such as Ladysmith, Cowichan Bay, Herd Road and Cobble Hill. They of course are not going to be impacted by the individuals at this site and yet their support for the shelter was deemed important to the decisions of council.
Not once did council members mention the petition of over 600 home owners in the nearby area who are unequivocally opposed to this venture. Nor did they mention the hundreds of emails and letters the residents of the area submitted to Duncan City council. Home owners had just 10 days in which to respond to the notification of a shelter at 610 Trunk Rd. and even so the petition was signed and opposed by 95 per cent of the people in this area.
Apart from one councillor, Garry Bruce, who voted no to this project and seemed to understand our concerns the remaining council members as well as the mayor paid little heed to our concerns. It is painfully obvious that Duncan City Hall does not work for the people of Duncan but are rather being bought and paid for by big money interests.
The next civic election is in October. Let us not forget the treatment City Hall is giving to the law-abiding tax paying community. They should be ashamed of their actions and need to be voted out of office.