Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not


Nanaimo’s new normal

Drug dealers, poverty pimps and big government
benefit as activists deliberately turn this B.C. city
into another addict nirvana

Greg Klein | November 17, 2019

Expanding rapidly in summer 2018, Nanaimo’s junkie population continues to grow


Less than two years ago this place was something of an idyll. Graced with southwestern British Columbia weather and scenery as well as, apart from some of the drivers, possibly the most good-natured Canadians you’d meet, it was a great place to live, especially to raise a young family.

But in summer 2018 that changed suddenly—so suddenly, in fact, that you might think malevolent characters deliberately set out to fuck this place right up.

Quite possibly, that was their motivation. Social activism often has an anti-social impetus, driven by hatred for normality and delight in its destruction. So, drawing on a mysterious source of funding, activists brought in hundreds of junkies, even transporting them by chartered bus, to a strategic location where their presence and behaviour drew maximum attention.


Hustler Ivan Drury manipulates drug addicts for his own purposes

Like other community-wrecking activists, Ivan Drury draws on
cryptic funding to travel southwestern B.C. organizing squatters’
camps. Drury sounds as stupid as he looks but his rhetoric gets
a deferential response from people like Premier John Horgan.
(Photo: Michael Hall/Maple Ridge News)


That was Nanaimo’s Discontent City, one of a number of community-destroying camps that curse southwestern B.C. As a result, Nanaimo’s now on the junkie map, attracting further droves of addicts to Canada’s latest go-to locale for their narcissistic lifestyles.


Discontent City squatters camp in Nanaimo

Suddenly and deliberately contrived by outside activists,
Discontent City probably typified southwestern B.C. junkie/criminal camps
for its prevalence of wacko behaviour, drugs, stolen property and weapons.
A lawyer representing the city said rival factions within the camp could erupt
in a “Lord of the Flies scenario.” (Photo: Victoria Times Colonist)


Discontent City bicycles of dubious ownership

What squatters’ camp would be complete without one or
more caches of bikes and bike parts? (Photo: Nicholas Pescod)


Here’s how one Nanaimo resident described the government’s response in a January 2019 letter to a newspaper:

Wait (do nothing?) until at least 300 individuals have accumulated. Most will be drug addicted and some will also suffer from mental illness. Some will be anarchists. Many will be from other parts of the province and country. Most will lack even basic social skills.

Continue waiting while: nearby businesses experience an increase in criminal activity, with some forced to close due to overwhelming theft; people defecate and urinate on sidewalks and store fronts despite portable toilets being brought in; hundreds of used syringes are discarded despite clean needle exchanges being brought in; used condoms appear on sidewalks, store fronts and alleys.

Then—to hell with people who work or draw retirement pensions; pay for taxes, mortgages, rent and groceries; generally show consideration to others and just might sometimes do a bit of good in their lives—give the junkies and their organizers everything they want.

Well, almost everything. They don’t get free drugs yet, although that’ll probably come in the future. Don’t expect that to curtail the crime wave, though.

Oh yeah, the crime wave. Those who haven’t experienced it can read the news that came to light despite one local rag’s almost relentless compassion for “persons experiencing homelessness.” This excerpt refers to a November 2019 Chamber of Commerce submission to city council:

The report notes that crime problems around Labieux Road “have increased dramatically” as well as panhandling, drug activity and “customer confrontations.” The chamber finds that most businesses have increased security measures through video surveillance or staff vigilance. According to the chamber report, Save-On-Foods at Brooks Landing is seeing more than $10,000 worth of meat stolen every month and Save-On-Foods at Country Club Centre is losing $1,000 a day to theft and had more than two dozen carts stolen in one two-week span. At Dollar Tree, eight people were caught stealing in a two-and-a-half hour period.


Island Crisis Care Society junkie haven at Newcastle Place

Nine-foot fences and a guarded entrance at the Terminal Avenue site
aren’t enough to prevent Island Crisis Care Society clients from
using their tax-funded homes to sell drugs and stolen property.
(Photo: Darren Stone/Victoria Times Colonist)


Such is the effect of free housing quickly dumped on sites at Labieux Road and Terminal Avenue. Businesses obviously suffer, and so do residents. It’s happening in other districts too. Nanaimo’s once-charming downtown now has at least as many junkies per doorway as the shittier parts of Vancouver. Port Place mall security guards have increased approximately 10-fold. More and more families rely on big guard dogs for protection.

Pacifica Housing operates—and profits from—the Labieux Road junkie/criminal complex. The Island Crisis Care Society does the same with its Terminal Avenue counterpart. They both do so on contract with B.C. Housing. While Pacifica’s site might outperform Terminal for scumbag behaviour (no mean feat), Island Crisis seems to outperform Pacifica for public advocacy.

That advocacy shows Island Crisis doing more than providing a housing service. Island Crisis lies on behalf of junkies.

Island Crisis deceit characterized the sham process of public consultation when the Labieux and Terminal sites were foisted on those defenceless neighbourhoods. Attendance at the consultations was rigged to ensure a disproportionate amount of junkie supporters. The panel of advocates, most persistently Island Crisis executive director Violet Hayes, evaded questions by talking out the clock with long-winded non-answers.

Another Island Crisis tactic diverts attention to the genuinely needy among the homeless, while refusing to answer questions about the number of junkies who’ll get free homes. Island Crisis uses the genuinely needy minority as human shields to deflect criticism of the narcissistic junkie majority.

But lying remains the most brazen Island Crisis tactic. Here are the Big 3 lies of Island Crisis bullshit:

“The Terminal Avenue residence is temporary.” It’s not. The present structures (wooden trailers) are temporary, but permanent junkie/criminal homes are planned for the same and/or nearby locations.

“The residents will pay rent.” They don’t. Taxpayers pay the rent.

“The residents will sign an agreement regarding their behaviour.” Okay, maybe they signed something. But either the conditions are laughably lenient or they’re not enforced. That’s evidenced by the Terminal and Labieux crime wave described by RCMP in April 2019 as involving “drug dealing, discarded drug paraphernalia, public sex acts, public defecation, and thefts from vehicles and businesses.” (They forgot harassment.) Cops had to create a special task force just to deal with Island Crisis and Pacifica junkie/criminal clients.

Why does a housing service agency like Island Crisis lie on behalf of its clients? Excusing, supporting and ultimately advocating their lifestyle benefits Island Crisis staff. That lifestyle allows Island Crisis staff to expand their empire, which secures their paid positions and possibly fattens their paycheques. Drug dealers aren’t the only ones who profit from drug addiction.

Advocates of big government—which means practically all politicians at all levels of government—like these circumstances too. To some extent, Nanaimo voters allow this. Only two Nanaimo political candidates, both running in the October 2018 municipal election, campaigned against the junkie influx. They lost badly.

That left non-junkies powerless when the province trashed zoning bylaws to impose these criminal residences on family neighbourhoods. When one Terminal Avenue neighbour tried to challenge the province and Island Crisis in court, B.C. Housing’s lawyer arrogantly vowed that the province would win and go after the plaintiff for costs.


Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson versus the people

Along with the Island Crisis Care Society, Nanaimo MLA
Sheila Malcolmson’s party expressed arrogant vindictiveness
by demanding legal costs from a citizen who tried to protect
her neighbourhood in court. (Photo: Canadian Press)


Thanks to a flaky judge’s tortured rationale, the defendants did win and were awarded costs. Not satisfied with mere victory, the government and Island Crisis extracted their pound of flesh from someone who simply tried to uphold zoning bylaws and protect her neighbourhood.

Now Nanaimo’s catching up with other southwestern B.C. junkie havens. But in this case, the transformation was sudden and deliberate. Conducting a hate crime against normality, activists herded junkies into a family-friendly small city. Local politicians couldn’t defend their community and, moreover, many of them supported the invasion. Well-established local poverty pimps strengthened their self-serving empire by further supporting and perpetuating Nanaimo’s decline.

A tragic decline but, for some people, not unprofitable.

See more posts about
B.C.’s junkie/homeless hustle
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