UPDATE: 2:05 p.m.
Mayor Colin Basran offered few words about the McCurdy Road supportive housing project during the meeting, but they were words that may have stirred some hope for protesters.
The mayor said council has been in conversation with B.C. Housing Minister Selina Robinson to discuss the operational model of the proposed project.
A special council meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 17, at 4 p.m., to further discuss the ongoing concerns surrounding the project. Wednesday, Basran said, is still within the reconsideration period—30 days after the official adoption of the site’s rezoning.
“This is not a delay tactic, but an honest, sincere effort in finding a compromise,” Coun. Mohini Singh said.
Thousands of signed petition forms opposing the planned McCurdy Road supportive housing project will be brought to Kelowna City Hall today before Kelowna council meets at 1:30 p.m. But petition organizer, Audra Boudreau, said she may not get to present it to council.
After collecting signatures for 15 days and raising awareness of the BC Housing project slated for the Rutland community, Boudreau said she was disappointed to learn she could not be added to the meeting’s agenda.
In a Facebook post Monday, Boudreau said Mayor Colin Basran informed her there are no opportunities for members of the public to make presentations to council on Monday afternoon.
Boudreau was offered a five-minute meeting with mayor prior to the meeting to present the petition, but she said she will not give mayor and council a physical copy of the petition and its 14,147 signatures.
“I cannot relinquish possession of the petition,” she said in the post. “I have a duty to protect it and the information it contains.”
Not being able to present the behemoth of a document in council, Boudreau said, is a political tactic.
“I think the mayor is trying to avoid that optic,” she said, noting media will be present for the meeting. “These are political games I’m not interested in playing.”
Boudreau said the petition, which is addressed to the province, cannot be delivered to council. She simply wished to illustrate how many voices are against the project—which will be operated by Kelowna’s Canadian Mental Health Association—in hopes the mayor would bring the item back to council for reconsideration.
More information to come following today’s council meeting.