Chamber demands answers
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 23, 2019 - Biz Releases

File photo: Castanet

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce sounds fed up with BC Housing’s decision to keep the Cornerstone shelter open for an indefinite amount of time.

The shelter, which is located on Leon Avenue in downtown Kelowna, received its third extension last Friday, with the province indicating it would remain open until other arrangements can be made to find homes for its users.

“The chamber and the business community have long accepted the need for shelters and understand why such facilities are essential especially given the fact that many would be forced to sleep outside if they didn’t have the shelter,” chamber president Nikki Csek said in a press release. “The concern with Cornerstone is its close proximity to the Gospel Mission, its large number of clients, and the fact that open drug use is permitted in the facility.”

The chamber wants BC Housing and other stakeholders to meet with individual business and property owners downtown, and assure them that safety measures are being put in place.

“The chamber only has a small portion of its membership in the downtown area, but we do understand the frustration with the current situation as many businesses have been hit with vandalism over the last number of months and costs associated with safety measures have led to increased levies and tax hikes,” Csek said.

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