Residents accepting refugees

An Oyama vineyard owner has decided to follow her heart and not give into fear

Kevin Parnell

Black Press

An Oyama vineyard owner has decided to follow her heart and not give into fear.

Roxana Adams and her husband Bruce are making a carriage house on their property available to house Syrian refugees if needed and have received the proper approval from the District of Lake Country to make it possible.

The couple, who operate Living Water Certified Organic Vineyard, received a temporary use permit that will allow them to house refugees on their nearly six-acre Oyama property if the need arises.

“This is a humanitarian issue that affects the whole world,” said Roxana.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime. We talked about it and our carriage house is empty for most of the winter. We just thought ‘why not?’ I think some people will say ‘not in my backyard,’ but I think that’s coming from people’s fears and not being led by their heart. There are a very few number of people that are the ones that are terrorists. It’s miniscule. These people are leaving something that is really bad and I agree that we should be doing our part to help.”

Adams added that she believes the Canadian government has and will continue to do an excellent job of screening.

“It is the very vulnerable that are being allowed in,” she said. “Women and children, families and often relatives of families already here, well-educated families and many that have been waiting through this refugee process for a few years now, already in the system,” she said.

The Adams’ appeared at Lake Country council earlier this month to ask for the special permit to allow for housing refugees, something that is not accepted under their agri-tourism designation.

Two members of the public spoke up against the application and the district also received a few letters on the issue. All people who wrote or spoke against the move said they support efforts to help refugees but said a vineyard in Oyama that has agri-tourism designation was not the proper spot.

In a letter to Lake Country council Rosemary Misfeldt said she is in favour of helping out refugees but said a more urban area would be better for several reasons including the refugees potential isolation, lack of transportation and lack of contact with other refugees.

But at the vineyard, Adams said a rural setting might be just what is needed for a family who has been through what the Syrian refugees are dealing with and added Oyama Traditional School is very close to her location and the school bus goes right past their home.

She said church groups, who have taken the lead on bringing refugees into Canada, will work with families to help with transportation and becoming immersed in the community.

“The churches get very involved with getting them to family dinners and intermingling with other people that are already here with their own families,” said Adams who stressed she feels it is important for Canadians to make refugees welcome.

“It’s really important that the youth are felt like they are welcomed because that is the group that will carry on. We have to make them welcome. That’s where our heart has to lead over our fear.”

 

Just Posted

Coldstream surf shop welcomes winter with paddle

Winter Chill event Saturday, Dec. 21, on Kal Lake is ‘food’-raiser for food bank

James and Jamesy return to Vernon for more Christmas tea

Their Dec. 19 show explores friendship, the joy of giving and a celebration of the imagination

Vernon hospital purchases equipment with help from TB Vets

Video laryngoscope has been high on VJH priority list for lengthy period of time

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

Armstrong thrift store set for renovations

The Bargain Bin will close facility Jan. 14, but open small retail outlet in Oddfellows Hall

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Chevron move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

Summerland planning asset management work

Improvements needed to infrastructure for utilities

Community Foundation provides funding to Summerland organizations

More than $18,000 in grant funding given to Recope, the arts council and the food bank

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Most Read