Residents of a Canadian neighborhood opposed to a proposed addiction recovery center near their homes have circulated a petition which claims that deaf, disabled, and transgendered people living near them would adversely affect their property values, News 1130 (Vancouver) is reporting.
A vacant lot in the Seymour neighborhood of North Vancouver is the proposed site of a nine-bed home for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Some residents of the neighborhood have been adamantly opposed to the idea, believing that having drug addicts in the neighborhood — particularly, nine men concentrated in one home — would compromise the safety of the neighborhood, according to North Shore News.
At a meeting Thursday night to discuss the proposed center, a petition circulated among attendees called for residents of the neighborhood to oppose bringing certain undesirable types into the neighborhood, including homeless people, people with HIV, and IV drug users.
For reasons that aren’t clear as of this post, part of a sentence in the petition was blacked out. However, whoever blacked out the petition didn’t do a very thorough job, and the words “transgender,” “deaf,” and “disabled” can be clearly seen among the list of undesirable qualities residents of the proposed group home would bring to the neighborhood.
Neighborhood resident Jesse Miller, who admits he hasn’t yet made up his mind about the recovery center, concedes that the petition is ridiculous and full of misinformation — especially the blacked-out part about deaf, transgendered, and disabled people coming to the neighborhood.
“It’s absolutely atrocious. The entire thing should be blacked out and shredded. It’s nothing but prejudicial hate and on a topic the person has almost zero understanding of,” Miller said. “We’re at a stage where the rest of the Lower Mainland is looking at our block and saying ‘What a bunch of elitists.’”
The person who wrote the petition has been identified by North Shore News as Paddi Nikbin, who was born in Iran but moved to Canada as a child. Ms. Nikbin compared the difficulty she’s had getting the North Vancouver government to hear her concerns about the proposed recovery center to the theocratic dictatorship under which she was born.
“What I see here is you can have a voice but nobody listens to you… So what’s the difference between Iran and here?”
As of this post, it is not clear how many people have signed Ms. Nikbin’s petition to keep deaf, transgendered, and disabled people out of her Canadian neighborhood.