‘I’m so angry I can’t even cry right now’ Candlelight vigil held for Kelowna man who died at homeless camp

Shane Bourdin, a father of three, died at a temporary homeless camp earlier this week

Friends and family gathered at a candlelight vigil at Kelowna’s temporary overnight shelter at Recreation Park on Wednesday night to pay their respects to Shane Bourdin, a father of three who died in the area earlier this week.

During the event, approximately 75 people held glow sticks and candles around a memorial to honour Bourdin and the loved ones he left behind.

One person who traveled all the way from Alberta to attend the ceremony was Bourdin’s mother Theresa Whittier.

During the event, Whittier said she was frustrated that nothing more had been done to save her son’s life while he was camping in the cold.

“I’m so angry I can’t even cry right now. My son died being out here,” said Whittier.

“Now that he’s died, the city is rushing to put all these people indoors. Why did this not happen while my son was still alive?”

Whittier said her son has left behind a number of close family members, including three children.

“My son is dead. He’s gone forever and his kids will never see him again and neither will I,” she said. “I need to be proud of what he has done to help out all of his family down here in the tents. I’m so proud of my son and I’ll hold onto him in my heart forever.”

Kelowna resident Bryn McNair, who visited the shelter over the last two weeks to help out those in need, said Bourdin would often go out of his way to help other people.

“He always had a huge smile and was always willing to help,” said McNair

“If any of us came in with food or water, he was the first to say ‘Hey, can I help you.’”

Kelowna residents at the vigil also dropped off Naloxone kits and toiletries to help get people experiencing homelessness at the shelter through the winter.

According to officials, paramedics responded to a call for an unconscious man at Recreation Avenue site in the north end of the city early in the morning on Dec. 16. He was transported to Kelowna General Hospital, where he later died.

RCMP Const. Solana Paré said the B.C. Coroners Service was notified and is now investigating Bourdin’s death.

In November, the city moved people experiencing homelessness on Leon Avenue to two different temporary overnight shelters in the north end of the city — a site at Recreation Avenue and another at the base of Knox Mountain Park.

According to Homeless Hub, approximately 286 people are experiencing homelessness in Kelowna.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

A grateful community

Another community convoy to thank health care workers is planned for April 5

Forestry Ink: Introduced, not invasive species

Columnist Jim Hilton writes about animals that are considered invasive

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read