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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KONTROVERSY, when will it end.

Actual post date January 29th: Being a bit lax on the blogging I had left this as a DRAFT, learned something new in that it posts with the original date of writing it.

The following column appeared in the Daily News a while back. I sent off a letter to the editor, below, but sadly it was not published. I hear through the grapevine that former mayor Korpan is still moving forward with the lawsuit and will update as I hear more.

Column: Libel laws may be outdated

Letter to the Editor (January 14 - 2008)

Other than the initial veiled threats to some members of Friends of Plan Nanaimo when the bumper stickers first appeared as well as the current Law Suits against Angela Negrin (proprietor of Pirate Chips), and Tony Parkin (long time advocate for Lifeguards at our public beaches and No High-Rises on our waterfront), I can find no instances of others being sued for displaying the Free Nanaimo from Koruption bumper sticker. Oddly enough, early on in his vendetta, former Mayor Korpan stated that he would track down and prosecute to the fullest extent those that displayed the Free Nanaimo from Koruption bumper sticker. So why pick the two he did? We may never know the answer to this but my guess is because both have been vocal on various issues within the city.

We may also never know who in reality created the bumper stickers but our former mayor can thank no one but himself for their interest in the public eye. His initial threat to some directors of Friends of Plan Nanaimo contained an imbedded copy of the very bumper sticker he is suing over. I for one, as an amused recipient, forwarded his e-mail to others and am positive I was not the only person to do so. A simple cut and paste of the picture would allow anyone to create the sticker.

I have one final thing to say on the subject, Mr. Korpan if you don’t want to be remembered by the public as a petulant whiner drop the lawsuit and apologize to Tony and Angela.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Live Aboard Boaters

The following letter was sent and published by both the Dailey News and the Nanaimo News Bulletin. Nanaimo is a fantastic place to live and for the Port Authority to try their best to eliminate one way of life seems ludicrous. Yes we want to make sure people don't polute our waters but to over-regulate to the point of making it almost impossible for many of those living in the harbour to continue doing so is simply put, STUPID. I for one have always enjoyed seeing some of the very interesting boats some people call home, I am sure there are many others that do as well.

This is a harbour city and with that comes people who will call the harbour home. For many this is a form of affordable housing, it is also a way of life. Is the Port Authority working to "gentrify' the harbour? With the proposed and currently under construction waterfront condo's is this a means to eliminate what some would call unsightly?

To the Editor
Regarding Live Aboard Boaters in Nanaimo Harbour .

I am continually puzzled by the rational of decision making used by many of this Cities Governing bodies. It would seem that whatever vestiges of character Nanaimo possesses, they are always under attack and at threat of being eliminated.

People have lived on boats in the harbour for years and are part of the character of any harbour city. Of course we want to make sure they are not dumping waste into the harbour, what even remotely environmentally conscious person would not? If live aboard, as well as tourist, boaters are not availing themselves of sewage disposal facilities then fine them and make it a hefty one that would deter them from polluting in the future. Otherwise lets live and let live and not try to over-regulate to the point of destroying a way of life that actually adds to the character of Nanaimo and its' Harbour.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Letter Published December 11th

Shortly after the letter below was published Nanaimo got hit with storm after storm, extremely cold weather and a dearth of snow (setting a record for Nanaimo). The extreme weather strategy came into play and lasted for a few weeks which was unexpected, most thought it might have to be implemented for only a couple of weeks throughout the winter. What it also highlighted was that the numbers of homeless in Nanaimo may not be as great as has been put out in the past. While the 20 emergency spots at the S/A remained fairly consistantly full there was usually space left of the 10 at the Unitarian Church.

Tent cities would only cause more problems

The Daily News
Published: Thursday, December 11, 2008
Re: 'One-woman campout for housing ends quietly' (Daily News, Dec. 9)

Creating tent cities would in no way address the issue of homelessness and could very well, as has been seen in other communities that have done so, cause more problems than they cure.
Nanaimo has an excellent, if costly, homeless strategy that the province has committed to support. The problem with this support is that it hinges on creating new supportive housing, 160 units, that will not see a tenant for at least two to three years.

It is well established that housing the homeless would save the province $8,000 to $12,000 per person per year. Subsidizing rents, yearly at $1,800 to $2,400, would still save the government upwards of $9,500 a year and house people much quicker. These subsidies are also a part of Nanaimo's action plan and in these tough economic times would seem a no brainer. Allowing for approximately 10,500 homeless throughout the province, some estimates are far higher, the savings would equate to roughly $100 million a year, monies that could then be funneled back into creating even more affordable housing.

If the choice in Nanaimo is to wait for the housing to be built then we, like many other communities, need a "cold wet weather strategy" that would provide extra beds for the homeless October through April. Currently, any extra beds will not kick in unless the weather is considered extreme, -5 Celsius for example, and that only for as long as deemed necessary. Solutions to get people off the streets exist and should be implemented.

Gordon W. Fuller

© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2008