‘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

Two new bridges to be built along Highway 16 between Port Clements, Tlell

Ministry of Transportation says $5.4-million project expected to be complete in fall 2020

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

Haida Gwaii couple frustrated after Air Canada cancels flight, denies compensation

Mike Racz says another passenger received $1,000 while he was only offered e-coupon and promo code

Haida Gwaii teachers heading back to empty classrooms on June 1

SD50 working with CHN following May 21 request to keep school closed until state of emergency lifted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

VIDEO: Green Coast offers free kayaking to Haida Gwaii residents

First “pop-up paddle” held Monday, May 25; free community paddles expected to continue weekly

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read