Audra Boudreau, the petition organizer, said the opponents of BC Housing’s McCurdy supportive development are well on their way to reaching their target of 13,000. (Caitlin Clow - Kelowna Capital News)

Audra Boudreau, the petition organizer, said the opponents of BC Housing’s McCurdy supportive development are well on their way to reaching their target of 13,000. (Caitlin Clow - Kelowna Capital News)

Drive-thru petition against McCurdy house garners thousands of signatures

Rutland residents aim to collect 13,000 signatures to put stop to Kelowna supportive housing project

The opposition of the supportive housing project slated for McCurdy Road is well on their way to reaching their target of 13,000 signatures representing 10 per cent of Kelowna, due in large part to a drive-thru petition signing event run over the past few days.

On Monday, hundreds of cars pulled into Rutland Secondary School to sign their name on the dotted line to say Rutland is not the place for a BC Housing supportive project that allows drugs and alcohol on site.

Audra Boudreau, the woman behind the petition, said she won’t know the exact total of signees until Thursday, but she is sure they have collected more than enough to at least be acknowledged by city officials.

READ MORE: McCurdy project in Rutland gets go-ahead from Kelowna councillors

READ MORE: Rutland community rallies against McCurdy house

“If there are 13,000 voters that are standing up, it’s saying a lot if they (City of Kelowna councillors) refuse to acknowledge, or if they refuse to change anything, about how much they value us, our children, our seniors, our family and our community,” she said.

The Rutland community has rallied in protest against the 49-unit, five-storey development that was approved by council on June 17, with Coun. Charlie Hodge voting in protest of the application. Councillors could only vote on the form and character of the building as the land had been rezoned for a similar project in 2017.

“(Coun.) Charlie Hodge is the one that showed the most character, in my opinion, on that vote,” Boudreau said. “This all exists because of (city council’s) complete error two years ago when they rezoned a property for an organization to run a facility without them having the money to actually build that facility.”

“The blame for this is squarely on their shoulders and I think they’re trying to save themselves because they’re certainly not trying to save our kids or our seniors.”

Boudreau said she would be in favour of a low-income family housing, or a seniors housing moving into the area, however, she says increased crime, public intoxication and drug use are inevitable with any facility that allows consumption on site.

“It’s going to be an absolute disaster,” she said.

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

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

Boudreau said she doesn’t feel the Kelowna branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has the right tools to manage this facility. She said Heath House—another nearby project run by CMHA—is evidence of that.

CMHA communications manager Jessica Samuels said it is working to eradicate the issues surrounding Heath House.

A CMHA clean-up crew is working to rid the streets around the supportive housing project on Highway 97 and surrounding neighbourhood streets of litter and needles. She said nighttime security has been increased on the property and soon extra security “boots on the ground” will be patrolling the surrounding neighbourhood overnight.

With CMHA’s more than 20 years of service in the community and 200 housing projects in the area, Samuels said CMHA “want(s) to be good neighbours.”

“We understand that people are worried, we understand that people want to feel safe,” she said.

CMHA also said its recent amendments to its tenancy agreement with Heath House residents is another way they’re working to create a safer environment. Residents of CMHA-operated housing is made to sign an agreement that outlines expected behaviour. If these guidelines are failed to be met, residents are relocated to a different supportive housing unit that may be more suitable for their individual needs, or they are connected with a different community partner.

CMHA’s director of service delivery and program innovation Mike Gawliuk said many of these residents utilizing supportive housing haven’t had a roof over their head in a while.

“We have seen individuals who have been in one setting and have created some challenges in one setting and we move them to other settings,” he said. “Once they stabilize and get their feet under them, there is huge improvement.”

Tuesday is the last day to sign the petition in Rutland.


@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

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Veteran Henry Kriwokon has his photo taken by the Western as he celebrates his 99th birthday with friends at the Cellar in Downtown Penticton. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western News)
Turning 101, Penticton veteran looks back on life

Henry Kriwokon was one of the soldiers in the famous ‘Wait for me, Daddy’ photo

Stock photo from Unsplash.com
Study: Embrace national long-term care standards

Call to direct public funding only to public and non-profit long-term care providers

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

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

Most Read