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Friday, June 22, 2012

A little can go a long way

RDN doles out homelessness grant money

While the amount might seem small it can have a huge impact. The monies allocated to the Unitarian Shelter helped to make it available for the chronically homeless every night from November through March. Had the funds not been available the shelter would have only been open on nights deemed extreme. There is a very thin line between cold wet weather and extreme weather and being open every night allowed the homeless the security of knowing there was somewhere to get out of our traditionally wet winter nights. I have no doubt whatsoever this saved lives.

Sadly it looks like the Unitarians are going to drop the Cold Weather aspect of the shelter opting just to do it on extreme days. It is hoped that they will change their mind or at least allow another organization to operate during the Cold Weather at the same location. If another group were to end up having to take it on at a new location it would add extensively to the cost in having to purchase cots etc. and lease space.

While I truly appreciate the work the Unitarians have done in the past they have now, in my opinion, become part of the problem. They have the capacity to do the cold weather and choose not to because it is easier for them. Nanaimo needs this; a shelter that operates every night from November through March and it will continue to need it until the new Supportive Housing gets built.

Empire Fading

Letter was published in the Daily News on the 11th, nothing in the papers since so I guess we wait patiently until next year.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Re-Writing Park History

Waterfront transformed into 'jewel' for Nanaimo

Truly a jewel in Nanaimo. “Civic Arena was torn down in 2006 to make way for a $1.8-million Spirit Square."  The Civic Arena was actually torn down to accommodate the building of the new road which was to allow access to 2 proposed 26 story condo towers as part of the deal with Millennium to build a hotel for the convention centre.  Thank the gods that this did not happen and the park remains open for all to enjoy.  The City should transfer its part of the property bordering Comox Rd to the Snuneymuxw who own the other part, or partner with them, to build some sort of First Nations interpretive Centre.  This would really be a draw for Tourists arriving in the City as well as for Nanaimo Citizens and enhance the park immensely.

More Empire than needed

Here are a couple of more stories Re: Empire Days, my comments as well as many others can be seen by clicking on the story.  Bottom line if we had a council with kahonees they could simply not approve next years proclamation of Empire Days when it comes up.  Will they do so; I doubt it but we can try.

Editorial: We need civil debate not more hyperbole

Here also is a letter by Simon Schachner who has been opposing the Empire for a while now.

I sent this one in but nothing as of yet:

Re:  Re: 'Chief takes to Twitter to criticize Empire Days moniker' (Daily News, May 29)

For almost a decade many groups and individuals have been proposing a change to the weeklong celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday known as ‘Empire Days’ in Nanaimo.  While the controversy was slow to materialize this year Chief White’s comments have lit the proverbial fire once again in this ongoing debate.  This in my opinion is a good thing.
I think everyone can agree that the volunteers of the Empire and Lions Societies do a wonderful job; all we ask is for a change of name of the event/celebration.  No one is asking the Society to change its name; celebrate your accomplishments of the last 145 years, kudos to you all for your hard work. 

This said the time has come to change the name to something that all can celebrate.  Something that does not carry with it the baggage of a not too pleasant experience suffered by the colonized in the name of “Empire,”  something that celebrates the shared history of all whom now live in this land.