Tag Archives: Campbell River Housing

SRD Seeks Electoral Approval To Raise Up To $10 Million For A Housing Service

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) wants to set up its own housing service. They hope to raise up to $10,000,000 for applicable projects and non-profits. This is to be administered through loans, which projects must pay back, but would initially be funded through property taxes. The cost to individual homeowners is small, up to $25 a year for a house assessed at $500,000 until the service pays for itself. The SRD will be seeking your approval through an Alternate Approval Process. If 10% of the electorate (i.e.- 3,456 people) notify the SRD that they are opposed to this new service before 12:00 noon on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, it will be considered defeated and the SRD will have to consider other ways of raising the money.

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Rachel Blaney on  the Housing Crisis, Homelessness and Campbell River’s treatment of the Art Gallery

When you get to Cortes, you can multiply all those economic stressors by three or four because we have  clients who have been suffering for years with precarious employment, precarious housing, and higher food costs than mainland food costs.” – Cortes Island Food Bank

It’s been a month since hundreds of Campbell River residents were shocked to learn that their city council appeared to be punishing the local art gallery for not confronting the homeless people camped outside its doors.  As city councilor Ron Kerr put it, “We certainly don’t need to give them tax deferrals if they’re not working with us.”

Local MP Rachel Blaney referred to the incident in the House of Commons when speaking about the housing and homelessness crisis:

“My region has seen the largest increase of unhoused people on record. There was a 106% jump in the Comox Valley and almost 70% percent in Campbell River. This is a catastrophe. The Prime Minister says housing is not a federal responsibility, as people and communities move beyond a crisis point. This while Conservative council members in Campbell River have begun targeting non-profits who provide essential services to the unhoused. When are the Liberals going to be an actual federal partner and build people homes? ” 

Continue reading Rachel Blaney on  the Housing Crisis, Homelessness and Campbell River’s treatment of the Art Gallery

The #1 cause of homelessness

“Scapegoating: the act of blaming a person or group for something bad that has happened or that someone else has done. Example: the scapegoating of immigrants for the country’s economic problems.” – Cambridge Dictionary

While it is easy to blame the unhoused population for their predicament, all of the recent ‘Point In Time’ (PIT) suggest they are indications of a much larger problem. 

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Solving Campbell River’s homeless crisis

Editor’s Note: While Campbell River is two ferry trips away, it is the central hub for supplies and local government in our area. All Cortes Island residents periodically pass though Campbell River and the affordable housing crisis is found in every community. (See the charts at the bottom of this page.)

Campbell River’s latest ‘Point in Time’ (PIT) Count found 197 homeless people within the city limits. 65% of them have been in Campbell River for at least five years, and 22% were born there. They are sleeping outside, in vehicles, or in someone else’s home. When asked, a third of them reported not earning enough money to pay rent. 

“If they’re not in public places, if they are shuffled along back into alleys or nooks and crannies, they are targets. That is one of the reasons they congregate in public together. It’s safe. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve run into over the last year that have got a cast, or their heads wrapped up or they’re on crutches or whatever,” explained Sue Moen, who worked for the Salvation Army prior to her retirement.

“It’s like, ‘Bylaw Enforcement pushed us along. We hung out in this alley. Four guys showed up (not members of the unhoused community),  beat us all up and stole all our stuff.’”

Cortes Currents asked Moen for her impressions of a series of motions the City of Campbell River passed at their October 10 meeting

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Campbell River to remove tax exemptions from Art Gallery and Mental Health

Editor’s note: Campbell City Council did remove the tax exemptions, but is currently in discussion with the art gallery.

At their September 28 Council meeting, the city of Campbell River took the first steps towards removing the tax exemptions from the Campbell River Art Gallery (CRAG) and Vancouver Island Mental Health. Councillor Ron Kerr made the motions, which were approved, with only Councillor Tanille Johnston voting in opposition. City staff informed council this was a change of direction which affected the budget and there would need to be a second meeting before the exemptions can be removed. This has been scheduled for October 12. 

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