Tag Archives: City of Campbell River

Medical detox coming to Campbell River

Greater Campbell River has one of highest rates of drug related deaths in BC.

The first community-based medical detox north of Nanaimo will be opening in Campbell River this Fall. Island Health secured a location at 731 Nicholas Road near the North Island Hospital – Campbell River campus. 

“This is a really exciting addition to Campbell River.  When people living with addiction reach out and make that brave choice of getting the services that they need, we’d need to be able to meet them where they are and with the services that they need right away. This is a new six bed medical detox that the community has been asking  for,” explained  Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island and a resident of Campbell River. 

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SRD Approved all but one of Cortes Island’s Grants in Aid

Editor’s note: The following report consists of highlights from a segment of the SRD Board Meeting of Nov 22, 2023. 

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board approved all but one of Cortes Island’s 2023 Grant-in Aid applications. It was a long, often confusing, debate. The SRD Board denied the Cortes Island Academy’s application because, as Chief Administration Officer (CAO) David Leitch explained “this Grant in Aid is in contradiction to our policy in terms of awarding money to other senior levels of government.” The Board initially granted the other Cortes applications, then seemed on the verge of rescinding them. Their decision to pass most of the applications was followed by a motion to change the manner in which Grants-in-Aid are processed.

Continue reading SRD Approved all but one of Cortes Island’s Grants in Aid

SRD Re-elects Baker Chair, Sinnot New Vice Chair

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board held its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, November 8. Provincial legislation requires regional districts to annually elect a Chair and a Vice-Chair for a one-year term at the first meeting of the Board after November 1.

Continue reading SRD Re-elects Baker Chair, Sinnot New Vice Chair

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

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

Continue reading Solving Campbell River’s homeless crisis