At the regional council meeting on Wednesday (Oct. 28), Oshawa Mayor Carter, who invested $100,000 of his taxpayers’ money in street patrols to manage homeless issues in his downtown area, had the audacity to challenge a local Beaverton resident on her request for more security at a seniors’ residence that will be within 50 meters of the proposed supportive housing project.
Judi Forbes indicated that operating costs would increase for seniors at Lakeview Manor and Gillespie Gardens as more security and supports would be needed.
There is definitely an egregious use of big city power being used against a small town of only 2,800 residents. It seems that what’s needed in Oshawa is not a necessity for Beaverton, even on a small scale.
At an information session on Thursday (Oct. 28), Peter Bornemisa stated that nowhere in Canada has this burden been placed on such a small town.
In Durham, with a population of almost 700,000 there is a goal to create 1,000 supportive housing units. That’s a ratio of one unit per 700 residents. 50 units are planned for Beaverton, a town of 2,800 residents. That’s a ratio of 1:56 for this small town.
If the burden were shared equally across the region, Beaverton should have four supportive housing units.
Roughly 2,000 people have now signed a petition to have this project paused for further review. That’s everyone in town, except those not old enough to vote. Brock Township has brought forward two requests to pause this project and reconsider some zoning and procurement issues that require legal consideration.
And yet, at regional council on Wednesday, neither Brock Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden nor the regional Councillor Ted Smith would support township council’s wishes. No motion to pause was put forward by Brock’s representatives.
A motion to research an alternative site, put forward by Clarington Councillor Joe Neal could not even get a seconder. This is truly a story of David and Goliath.
Brock Township also asked for a third-party independent study. Durham hired OrgCode, a very reputable firm that has a direct conflict and pecuniary interest in the outcome of their ‘suitability study.’ First review of their report indicates that Beaverton residents in this facility will only receive medical care through remote services. Best practices from Ontario state clearly that these clients require face-to-face interaction to overcome their fears. The lack of sincere program planning that builds on successful experiences in other communities is appalling.
Durham has also overtly stalled on complying with a Freedom of Information request submitted by a Beaverton resident in late July. Durham has taken more than two months months to tell us they have more than 3,500 pages of relevant disclosure and that it will cost more than $4,500 to release that information.
The local community group, now known as Beaverton Vision, has started a GOFUNDME page to raise the funds while they make a formal appeal to Durham.