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 to oppose BC Housing project in Kelowna

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.

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Golf Club sold to consolidator GolfNorth Properties

Decision to sell unanimously approved by club’s board of directors

Shuswap Community Foundation grants support youth projects

Karen Angove Endowment Fund to benefit Shuswap Area Family Emergency (SAFE) Society

Shuswap resident seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

Radon levels in new Salmon Arm home a concern

Real-time monitoring shows radon concentration just within federally accepted guideline

Salmon Arm family doctor shortage putting health-care needs at risk

City clinics report having long wait lists, not accepting new patients

Gym enthusiasts invited to get in gear for kids

Spin4Kids Saturday at GoodLife Fitness

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Malakwa woman still in the running for winning American baking show

Janet Letendre is the only Canadian competing on the Holiday Baking Championship

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

New Okanagan resident building skills and community

The Respect Works Here November Multicultural Community Champion

Salmon Arm businesses tipped off to Black Press advantage

Black Press Media hosts day of presentations for local business representatives

Business savy volunteers sought in North Okanagan

Community Futures looking for members to join advisory panel, board and loans committee

Most Read