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.
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.