BC Premier Christy Clark was in downtown Nanaimo today addressing the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s 2011 summit at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. The conference centre is just two doors away from the Occupy Nanaimo encampment in the Diana Krall Plaza.
Nanaimo’s official unemployment rate of 12.3 percent is one of the highest in the province. But anyone who wants to attend the 2-day summit to tell Clark what they think about that will have to pay $275 to get in the door. Or have a lot of lung power…
About two dozen camp supporters stood outside the conference centre chanting up at the second floor windows where Clark was addressing the summit. They chanted that the Occupy Nanaimo camp was feeding and sheltering the homeless, and they asked what Christy Clark was doing for the homeless.
They also chanted for Christy Clark to come out and speak with them. But that had not occurred when I left at 4:30 pm.
Forty people spent the night at the camp last night, and more are expected tonight.
ITEMS MOST NEEDED AT THE CAMP RIGHT NOW: Tents, blankets, sleeping mats, cots, foamies, air mattresses. Many people have nothing but cardboard to shield them from the cold concrete beneath the tents.
Occupy Nanaimo continues to have the support and good will of the City (which installed the porta-potties yesterday) and the RCMP. I spoke to one business owner on Commercial Street today who said she has no problem with the camp being there, and she hasn’t heard of anyone complaining about it. Another nearby business owner even offered his store’s WiFi connection to the campers for as long as they remain.