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

Souperbowl Sunday is back for fifth year this weekend

Organizers say they are looking for a fourth chef to compete in round 2 on Oct. 27

All-candidates meet and greet at UBCO

Students and residents will have a chance to meet with the MP hopefuls on Friday

Parts of KVR Trail becoming dumping ground for stolen vehicles

More vehicles are turning up due to more patrolling, says Const. James Grandy

Grey, damp, warm week ahead in Okanagan, Shuswap, Columbia

Environment Canada calling for clouds and showers, and warm temperatures, throughout the area

Boats once plied Okanagan Lake

Lake was used as transportation corridor connecting communities in the valley

Election 2019: Robert Mellalieu — Green Party candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu is running for the Green Party in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

Sad time for City of Salmon Arm gardeners as more than 300 hanging baskets come down

Municipal crews busy preparing for change of season as flowers die off

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Illegal buoys to be removed from Shuswap, Mara lakes

Transport Canada enforcement action to occur Oct. 21 to 25

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Most Read