Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: July 2008

July 8, 2008

Letter - Living Room plans worry south end residents

The following is a letter I've written to the local papers about VIHAs plan to couple transitional housing with a failed addictions program. I have some experience working in this area.

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VIHA's Living Room attempts appear disorganized and remind some south end residents of a salesperson trying to remarket the same old failed product. Unfortunately, we are the ones who have been paying for VIHA’s learning curve.

The past incarnations of the Living Room, as hard as they were to manage, were in commercial areas. Now they want to put it in the middle of a residential neighborhood, adjacent to transition housing for those trying to get away from the street. Is there some study showing this might actually work, or was this decision simply motivated by dollars and cents?

At the south end community meeting, a VIHA spokesperson said, “we see it as a good thing to have the Living Room coupled with the residence.” No study was offered to back that up. Does the VIHA operate on gut feeling and intuition alone? I thought these services were supposed to be spread throughout the city. In fact there are studies showing that over concentration of these services can have a negative effect.

Because we’re not getting any answers about how our safety will be ensured or protected, I’m uneasy about this planned project. The list of rules we were given by VIHA were both naive and directly solely to the inside of the building.

If I were asked to place money on this venture as a positive thing for our community and those on the street, I think I’d keep my wallet in my pocket. On the other hand, if I was asked to invest in this as a real estate venture, this might be profitable. Maybe that’s where VIHA's heart is at.

Cameron Wigmore
Nanaimo, BC

July 7, 2008

Stop Cable Bay boundary extension before Aug 5th

I recently phoned city hall about this controversial development and “negative option” approval process being used to bypass voter involvement. To be clear, the actual development isn’t what’s being voted on; the expansion of the city boundary to include this resort and golf course is the subject. It’s the developer who wants the city boundary expanded and our council has basically made sure that the developer will get their way. This is a big deal because it allows further sprawling of the city, and shows that Nanaimo isn’t serious about sustainable development and urban renewal through increasing population density.

It will take a decade to get proper transit service (as the RDN suggests) if the city doesn’t invest in building up the residential, commercial and industrial areas that already exist WITHIN the city limits. By expanding city limits and allowing developments to GROW our city, they prevent our central Nanaimo population from being concentrated enough to support ½ hr bus wait times instead of the current hour long wait between most busses.

If you wish to get more information you can call Bruce Anderson, Manager of Community Planning at 755-4483. Contact your city council to let them know what you think of this:

Click on the link below to get the elector response form that you can print and submit, or phone city hall at 250-755-4405 to have them mail it to you.

In the news:
City Deserves Better Effort

Residents hope to stop project