Something must be done about Duncan’s ‘tent town’

We have our own tent town going on. Every time I grab a smoothie I have to navigate my way through tent town where residents live rent-free.

First off, I want to say that as a family man, small business owner and homeowner, I have a major stake in my town — and it is my town. Your town too.

As people who care about our town, it should bother us when others mess with it. What bothers me most is when people with no stake in our town demand that the town have a stake in them. I’m thinking specifically of tent city. Many of the residents of that “city” have made the lifestyle choice to remove the shackles of modern life and live as they want, free. But it’s not exactly free. Someone has to donate real estate for instance, others, bikes and tools. To Victoria’s credit they have finally said no, we won’t pay for your lifestyle, and in the next few weeks the residents of that “city” will be forced to move on.

We have our own tent town going on. Every time I grab a smoothie [at a restaurant just off the Trans Canada Highway just across from the Aquatic Centre] I have to navigate my way through tent town where residents live rent-free.

There is a more important reason for my angst about this reality. My 14-year-old daughter will be attending a school just up the street this fall and I am not cool with the idea of her having to walk through a “town” where residents openly shoot up, sleep with minors and fight on a daily basis. I’ve witnessed all of these behaviours and I know I’m not alone.

Before you write me off as a callous capitalist, it is important for you to know that I spent several years in Calgary facilitating a Homeless Partners program where we spent many hours sitting across from the local homeless and talking with them about their lifestyle choices and soliciting donations to meet their actual needs. We handed out thousands of coats, socks and most importantly, work boots. That’s right, many of the people we interviewed were simply the working poor, hard-working people like you and me who simply couldn’t afford the high house prices. That is a travesty and a disgrace for any town but tent town is not that town, and requires an entirely different solution.

I’d be happy to sit on that committee. Who’s with me?


John Close

North Cowichan

Just Posted

Jared Popma recently streamed a live concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. (Ashley Daniel Foot photo)
21-year-old jazz artist talks favourite tunes and joys of music theory

Jared Popma recently streamed a concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Vetch cover crop beginning to flower. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Vetch and crimson clover to the rescue of soil fertility

I add dry organic fertilizer as plants use up what is in the soil.

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

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

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read