Rather than place blame on people experiencing homelessness, we should recognize the causes of social problems and work toward solutions, suggests letter writer. File photo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Housing and opioid crises the real threats

Letter writer shocked that someone could blame vulnerable citizens for Nanaimo’s tarnished image

To the editor,

Re: Nanaimo has soured from what it once was, Letters, July 10.

This letter served no greater purpose beyond a good whine and barely hammered home any intelligible points. I am perplexed as to why you would publish it, only further giving a platform to senseless, ignorant hate.

The writer outlined what they perceive as the threat to “the hidden gem” that is Nanaimo: homeless people. Unfortunately, they fail to see how provincial housing and opioid crises are the real threat to the town’s peace and beauty. I am shocked that in 2019, a year where we have abundant access to information and education online, someone could still blame the most vulnerable citizens for a town’s tarnished image. Even more, that someone could be so invested in Nanaimo’s esthetic quality over improving life of those living on the street and/or with substance use disorder.

As someone whose loved ones are in recovery from substance use, I am tired of seeing them take such a brunt of hate. I’m tired of people not understanding that if we just give others a chance, a real chance like with supportive housing, things will turn around. I’m tired of misinformation surrounding substance use disorder. I’m tired of people not understanding how the housing and opioid crises are so clearly linked.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo has soured from what it once was

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: People experiencing homelessness unlucky

If people want to see Nanaimo be “cleaned up,” they should pressure our local governments and health authorities to take action on the opioid and housing crises. Nanaimo city council deeming safe injection sites a health necessity was a great boost to harm reduction strategies in town, but more must be done. For example, Island Health must improve their health services in Nanaimo.

Another way to help Nanaimo see past these terrible crises is to support local organizations who are working at the front lines.

Do people complaining on social media and in letters to the editor really want to see change? It sure seems like they would they rather look for someone to blame, choosing only the most vulnerable populations as their targets. I think it’s time these people pull up their bootstraps and get to work if they really want to see a change in our Nanaimo.

Sarah Packwood, Nanaimo


The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

Just Posted

Lantzville’s potential property tax increase ticks up to almost 25 per cent

Additional increase due to creation of reserve funds

Man and dog safe as crews handle house fire in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

Firefighters were called to 400 block of Machleary Street at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday

Nanaimo’s Thorpe stays on as RDN board chair, Gabriola director elected vice-chair

Ian Thorpe acclaimed as regional district chairperson; Vanessa Craig elected vice-chairperson

Calling all believers: Chemainus Theatre presenting Miracle on 34th Street

Opening night is Friday, Nov. 15, and show will run until Dec. 29

City of Nanaimo asking for opinions about planned downtown mobility hub

Short-term improvements include Front Street bikeway, intersection upgrades and more

Man and dog safe as crews handle house fire in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

Firefighters were called to 400 block of Machleary Street at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday

Sex assault charge stayed against Port Moody mayor

Rob Vagramov completed an alternative measures program, special prosecutor said

“I thought, enough is enough”: B.C. teen takes on bullies through social media

‘I thought, enough is enough. I wanted to try something to stop it.’

Audit finds Canada’s fisheries in decline and response lacks urgency

Report says 17 per cent of fish stocks are critically depleted, up from 13.4 per cent in 2018

Small group of Cherry fans protest his firing at Rogers HQ

One sign at the Toronto rally: ‘Rogers cancels Don, we cancel Rogers’

Campbell River RCMP investigating after two stabbing incidents Tuesday night

Police are treating each case separately and have one person in custody

Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

‘Wait and see’ approach common practice for 32% of B.C. motorists

Autism support dog refused bus access for being a ‘pet’

B.C. grandmother files complaint with TransLink, calls for better awareness of service dogs

Students plan rally at B.C. education minister’s office as district strike enters third week

Saanich School District students plan to rally outside Rob Fleming’s constituency office in Victoria

Most Read