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

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, rain expected

Environment Canada is calling for a risk of thunderstorms tonight across the Okanagan

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

Man arrested in Kelowna following Shuswap vehicle thefts, pursuit

Suspect wanted in Alberta allegdly also stole several vehicles near Sicamous over the weekend

10th year for Great Naramata Cherry Pit Contest

The event is a fun-filled way to celebrate the local harvest

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

Missing South Okanagan kayaker last seen on Okanagan Lake

Penticton RCMP are asking for assistance in locating a missing kayaker

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Part One: The opioid crisis and the B.C. Interior

A personal connection to the crisis: Recovering addicts share their story

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ which made its way to the home

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered Kelowna teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Most Read