Ronna-Rae Leonard, local NDP candidate, unjustly slammed by her political foes.


This blog post is for residents of the Comox Valley. Please SHARE! Yes it’s long, but please read it to the end. 

Below is a letter I sent to the publisher of the Comox Valley Record last week in response to a letter published in an earlier edition by Dick Clancy, a close associate of our last Conservative MP John Duncan and reputedly now associated with the Liberal campaign although, I admit, I don’t know him personally nor much about him. However, his political affiliations and his letter (see it here) don’t leave much doubt about his political leanings. To suggest that Ronna-Rae would want the residents of Maple Pool thrown out onto the streets is ludicrous and insulting in the extreme.

My letter was not published. I don’t know why, but I think it’s worth publishing myself here because I just can’t sit by and do nothing knowing Ronna-Rae and what she stands for, her integrity and commitment to social housing. I’m quite certain I know where the truth lies and it’s not in Clancy’s letter.

Here’s my letter:

To the editor, Comox Valley Record.

I read with interest the letter in your April 25th edition by Dick Clancy. He’s pretty coy is Mr. Clancy for a person who says everyone running in the election agrees that this should be a ‘transparent’ campaign. If he really believes in transparency, he should declare up front which candidate and party he supports in the election because his letter looks like an attempt to smear the NDP candidate. It looks a lot like a political hatchet job. Come on, Mr. Clancy, tell us who you’ll be voting for so we can judge your letter for what it is.

I will tell you up front that I am voting NDP in the coming provincial election. I would vote for Ronna-Rae Leonard, but I don’t live in her riding. I will be voting for Scott Fraser.

I don’t blame Mr. Clancy for being partisan, I am. I do blame him for hiding behind a call for transparency in order to suggest that Ronna-Rae Leonard would want the residents of Maple Pool thrown into the streets. That is a patently absurd accusation. I worked with Ms. Leonard on the Housing Task Force here in the Valley before its mandate expired about 4 years ago. Ronna-Rae Leonard has worked tirelessly over the years on behalf of homeless residents of the Valley.

In my opinion, it’s people like Dick Clancy and Larry Jangula who have blocked the construction of decent affordable and supportive housing in the Valley, not Ronna-Rae Leonard.

The in-camera council votes don’t tell the whole story. Frankly, I’d love to see an independent inquiry into exactly why Maple Pool continues to exist and why there hasn’t been any supportive and affordable housing built in the Valley for decades.

Roger Albert

Cumberland, BC

On May 2nd The Comox Valley Record published a letter by Fredrick Smith challenging Clancy. It was fine but somewhat off topic in my mind. It didn’t challenge to snide innuendo in Clancy’s letter about Ronna-Rae wanting to throw Maple Pool residents out on the street as evidenced by her in-camera Courtenay Council votes on a lawsuit around Maple Pool.

On May 4th, The Comox Valley Record published a letter by Irene Murray full of innuendo and attacks on Ronna-Rae, attacks which are groundless and based on political ideology. It’s true that the Housing Task Force had limited success. I know. I sat on one of its committees and was paid to write a report on what municipalities can do to encourage affordable housing in the Valley.

There are some people in the Valley who are fine with giving poor people charity (soup and mittens) but not with providing them with adequate, safe housing. Every community around us (Campbell River, Port Alberni and Nanaimo) have built affordable social housing. The Comox Valley is alone in not doing so. I can assure you that’s not Ronna-Rae’s fault.

5 thoughts on “Ronna-Rae Leonard, local NDP candidate, unjustly slammed by her political foes.

    1. Thank you, Marilyn. Anybody who knows Ronna-Rae or who has been involved in housing issues in the Valley knows that she has been a strong proponent of social and affordable housing. I really wouldn’t have cared what party she was running for, I would still have written the letter. Clancy’s letter was over the top in terms of decency and fair play.

  1. Mr. Albert, you are welcome to come to Maple Pool for visiting, I am willing to answer any of your questions. Homelessness is a complicated issue, some homeless folks actual refuse to be housed. There’s no drug issue at Maple Pool, however, I see more have alcohol problems. I know every single name of all residents here. Dali and I live here as well, folks know where to find us 24/7. So, you are welcome to have a visit, call me (2500338-9386. Jin

    1. I just may do that, Jin. Some time ago, I visited Maple Pool with AVI handing out sandwiches, etc. I know homelessness is a complicated issue. People are homeless for lots of reasons. Sometimes they’re born into a homeless family and know nothing else, and some don’t want to be housed. I don’t blame them. Some of them have undoubtedly had very bad experiences while housed and find housing constraining. On the basis of my own experience and my research it seems to me that we are approaching the housing problem in a way that it will never get solved. I think we can do better.

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