Qualicum Beach seeks provincial approval for temporary cold weather shelter

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Qualicum Beach town council identified land south of the airport as the best location for a temporary cold weather shelter.

Council carried a motion at an in-camera meeting on Feb. 3 to seek approval from the province to use the land for six months after the COVID-19 pandemic for a temporary, all day shelter for a maximum of 15 people.

“I recognize that it is kind of late in the cold weather season at this juncture, but this is something where hopefully we can work with the province over the next few months and get something set up for the summer and maybe the winter of next year,” said Coun. Scott Harrison at council’s Feb. 24 meeting. “Then in the next election we can talk about what a more permanent solution might be, or not be, as the citizens see fit.”

The south airport land is held by the town in a long-term lease to the province, so the province must approve both the term and conditions for the temporary land use, according to a news release from the town.

“The Town has been working with local governments within the region to find suitable lands to temporarily house our most vulnerable community members during these unprecedented times,” it reads.

It said the lands were first flagged as a possible shelter location in April last year.

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