Volunteers worked over the past 15 days to collect signatures for a petition against ‘wet facilities’ in the Rutland community, specifically the BC Housing project slated for McCurdy Road. (Caitlin Clow - Kelowna Capital News)

Volunteers worked over the past 15 days to collect signatures for a petition against ‘wet facilities’ in the Rutland community, specifically the BC Housing project slated for McCurdy Road. (Caitlin Clow - Kelowna Capital News)

14,147 signatures hard for Kelowna mayor to ignore: organizer

A petition against the McCurdy house in Rutland exceeds target

The official results are in.

In only 15 days of collecting signatures, Rutland residents were able to collect a total of 14,147 signatures, including 12,984 from Kelowna residents, to show their opposition of the BC Housing project slated for McCurdy Road.

Audra Boudreau, the petition organizer, was looking to collect 13,000 signatures from Kelowna residents—representing 10 per cent of the city. Instead, to her surprise, signees from across B.C. and beyond penned the petition, however, missing information disqualified a total of 277 signatures.

READ MORE: Drive-thru petition against McCurdy house garners thousands of signatures

READ MORE: Reconsidering McCurdy is ‘not straight forward,’ city clerk says

“There were signatures from all over this great city, from neighbourhoods you wouldn’t have though we had support from,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

“Throughout the city, people do not want these facilities near schools, seniors and families,” she continued. “Interestingly, there are a few very surprising signatures in there as well—people who have seemingly supported the wet facility or have some involvement with it who, clearly, have the same concerns.”

Volunteers and concerned community members have been holding protests for more than a month against the 49-unit supportive housing project. Rutland’s biggest concern is that drugs and alcohol can be consumed on site. This is disconcerting for residents as the site’s location is situated near schools, seniors’ homes and family amenities.

READ MORE: Public forum fails to ease Rutland residents’ frustration

READ MORE: MLA urges a ‘pause’ to controversial Rutland supportive housing

“If that many voices are speaking out that loudly, it would be a fatal error in (council’s) part,” she said. “It’s a hard statement to discard for Mayor (Colin) Basran.”

She said the more than 14,000 signatures only illustrate a small picture of the reality of the situation. She said those who signed only represent eligible voters, it does not include those under the age of 18.

A few surprising signatures stood out to Boudreau during her more than 19-hour count.

Signatures from across the province, from as north as Prince Rupert to the southern tip of Vancouver Island appeared on the petition. She even noticed a single signature from Australia.

“There were even a couple of people we were out in the community in an official capacity that appeared to be in support of the development, and yet they signed the petition,” she said.

Boudreau said signatures from residents of Cardington apartments—a supportive housing project on St. Paul Street—appeared among the 14,147 votes.

“We had homeless people who wanted to sign it,” she said. “They approached one volunteer who was downtown, but she told them she couldn’t accept them as they did not have a fixed address.”

She said she intends to present the petition to council during Monday’s meeting, however, she will not allow council to comb through it, as the signatures are meant for the province—if they have to take it to that next level.

READ MORE: Ex-homeless Rutland man says supportive housing too close to schools

READ MORE: Kelowna homelessness count shows more people without shelter


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Person experiencing homelessness. (Black Press Media file photo)
Program preventing youth homelessness launches in Kelowna

Upstream Project’s goal is to help young people become more resilient

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged with criminal negligence in Coquihalla crash is accused of ignoring smoking brakes

Just before the crash the smoking truck seen entering Zopkios brake check and leaving shortly after

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

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

A webinar on dealing with dementia will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (Submitted)
Webinar on dementia scheduled for March 10

Okanagan residents invited to event on legal issues surrounding dementia

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read