Tuesday, September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023

Editorial: Nonprofits and BC Housing need to evaluate after Seabreeze situation

After months of people asking if the Seabreeze Inne court case had been resolved, the answer was revealed through an Aug. 21 court filing, as detailed in our Driftwood story last week.

We think it’s fair to say that the process leading to this point could not have been much rockier. It’s not that anyone would have expected such a transaction to proceed smoothly, but it certainly could have gone much better than it did.

When the initial notice to vacate was given to people living at the Seabreeze Inne in the fall of 2021, Lady Minto Hospital Foundation (LMHF) kindly extended the deadline, responding to public pressure about throwing people out on the street during the winter. But one incorrect assumption made was that people who have a comfortable-to-them place to live would willingly leave it in order to accommodate a “noble” use for that space — housing for hospital workers — especially a use that did not seem to be immediate. It’s another case of privileged people and institutions not understanding the challenges and reality faced by some disadvantaged individuals.

While apportioning blame publicly serves no purpose at this point, all institutional parties involved need to have a hard look at the decisions they made and actions they took. LMHF, the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation (AKA BC Housing) and Island Community Services all had a role to play in how things transpired.

Use of professional mediation services earlier in the dispute could have yielded the same result at a much earlier time and at a much reduced cost, both financially and in terms of personal stress for all involved.

Annual general meetings are coming up for both the LMHF and ICS. Boards of both bodies should make reporting out and accepting questions on the Seabreeze situation a part of those proceedings.

In the meantime, housing for hospital workers is still desperately needed. Community member Connie Gibbs has detailed the needs and how people can help in a submission this week. Please, if you can provide affordable housing of any duration as she describes, follow the instructions in her article and help make a much-valued contribution to your community.


  1. Are you kidding me?? The functionality of our local hospital is put at risk by a few folks who refuse to leave the Seabreeze for what they see as “lesser” accommodations elsewhere. I get they don’t want to move but in life you don’t always get what you want. Take the accommodations offered or hit the road, don’t hold the community hostage. The “privileged people and institutions “ are actually the hardworking taxpayers of the community who need access to healthcare and whose taxes support the homeless. Try not to lose sight of the bigger picture.

  2. Please have a drive by & see the tin cans (oil field temporary housing for workers who basically work extensively & need a bed & toilet,albeit shared, to crash) Room for a bed & precious little else. A wretched offering to a terminally ill cancer patient for one example. The whole sit was difficult all round. I found it odd that Croftonbrook accepted many from the motel who were healthy ,younger & not in crisis physically. Granted, all in need of housing but perhaps those in most need should have been placed first . What good is subsidized housing if it doesn’t address the most vulnerable? When the lawsuit began Croftonbrook was opening & many are paying market rate & not subsidized. Complex issues, I know.
    I am a fortunate woman. I lived at the Seabreeze for 14 months whilst looking for a property to buy. Living there & seeing folks with so few resources humbled me profoundly & yes there was inappropriate behaviour & drama, to be sure, but the courage with which some met each day was a lesson in tenacity.
    We as a species , adapt & when things get better ……forget how we felt during hardship.
    It could be you.
    I’ve learned in 71 years that everything can change in an instant.
    Moving forward with compassion.
    Everything in life begins with to whom & where you were birthed. If you are brilliant, beautiful, healthy, never be dismissive of those that didn’t win that lottery.


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