Does JBNA Speak for James Bay?

What is the James Bay Neighbourhood Association (JBNA)?

It is a volunteer-driven community group with a mandate to promote involvement re environmental issues, land use and development matters in James Bay. The JBNA constitution states that development proposals affecting the quality of environment and life in the neighbourhood must “reflect the James Bay Community Plan and accurately reflect the values, issues and concerns of James Bay residents.”

So far, so good?

Here’s what JBNA’s laudable efforts have accomplished: mitigating the harmful effects of noisy ship horns; cruise ship emissions from idling tour buses; negative impact from CRD’s construction of the new sewage piping along Dallas Road; vagrant odours from the new Wastewater facility at McLoughlin Point.

Was JBNA elected to speak and act on behalf of the almost 12,000 people who reside in James Bay? How does a group of fewer than 40 individuals (most of whom represent private residential property owners) speak for 70% of households who rent in James Bay — and now face a serious housing crisis.

The JBNA delegation spoke during the February 23 City of Victoria public hearings. I was there. They expressed concern about the Clover Point rezoning application for a new wastewater pumping facility, then promptly left the meeting.

Weren’t the concerns of their neighbours about the negative consequences of short-term vacation rentals (STVRs), also on the agenda, important? Doesn’t the housing crisis in Victoria concern them? More than 1,110 citizens signed a petition to oppose STVRs in all neighbourhoods; this, in order to encourage affordable mixed housing, and support licensed hotels and bed-and-breakfasts.

Over the past year, JBNA has seemingly remained oblivious to hundreds of James Bay tenants ‘renovicted’ from apartments, some of whom face exposure to the health and environmental hazards—buildings contaminated by asbestos.

Tenants pay taxes. Yet, you would be hard pressed to find any interest by the JBNA in addressing their need for available and affordable housing.

Can this situation sustain your diverse, inclusive James Bay neighbourhood?

V. Adams

 

HOUSING MATTERS! The James Bay Housing Report – Spring 2017

Copies now available from the Housing Advocate,

James Bay New Horizons, 234 Menzies St.