North-end residents need a wake-up call

those most vocally opposed to low-barrier housing project that council is condemning the Wonderbread community of the north end

To the Editor,

It seems to be the consensus among those most vocally opposed to the city’s proposed low-barrier housing project that our draconian city council is condemning the Wonderbread community of the north end by suggesting that mixing the well off and the dysfunctional might not be a bad idea.

Not so, claim the nay-sayers, for if the untouchables were to ever infiltrate the north end, our safe, suburban dream would be over, right?

Yet how safe is this neighborhood as it is?

Are there not already a multitude of drug-related influences going on within the very high school which is now about to be ‘corrupted’ by the influence of a nearby ‘drug house’?

It seems to me the students of Dover Bay have been the subject of a great deal of complaints with respect to causing problems in the neighbourhood, yet it seems that now, as a more visibly dysfunctional group is set to move in, my peers and I have conveniently been redefined as the innocent, suburban children whose safety will be compromised if this project is completed.

It is the preconception among those opposed to the project that the housing units will become nothing more than a drug users’ hangout.

Of course, our picturesque community couldn’t possibly have a number of what could be called drug houses as it is, could it?

I beg to differ: we all have demons in our own backyards, some are just better concealed than others.

Nevertheless, I wonder how loud the public outcry would be if such a project were proposed in a community like Harewood? Are there no schools and children in south Nanaimo?

For a society that wants so badly to be ‘drug-free’, nobody seems to want to have the appropriate facilities for such a thing in their own backyard. Righteousness is pretty sick sometimes; everyone pretends like they want to help the less fortunate, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience them at all.

Harewood doesn’t need another project, yet I believe our community does, because it might just be the eye-opener some people around here need to understand the real problems facing the less fortunate.

People around here look outside and expect to see a mirror – they want to see something familiar staring back at them.

It’s time for people to stop fearing being close to that which is different.

Maybe then our focus would shift, somewhat, from worrying so much about how our property values are going to be affected, and more about how we can help those whom we seem to know so little about.

Maybe then we’d remember just how lucky we are, and how easily it could be our friend, or even ourselves, looking for a way to get better. Something like that would hit us much closer to home than this project ever will.

Jay Herringer

Nanaimo

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