ERIC KAYE TO MAYOR DEAN FORTIN + VICTORIA COUNCIL: ‘SERIOUSLY CONSIDER ESTABLISHING A TENT CITY ON CITY LANDS’

OUR OWN TENT CITY WOULD KEEP THEM WARM

 

Re: “Pointless appeal wasted resources,” editorial, Dec. 11

I strongly agree with the editorial on the City of Victoria‘s ill-advised appeal of the Court ruling on temporary overnight shelters in parks.

The previous Mayor and Council were wrong to appeal the original ruling.

The current Mayor and Council should have abandoned the proceedings immediately upon assuming office, rather than waiting a year for the B. C. Appeal Court to state the obvious: Our public spaces belong to everyone and it is not a crime to be homeless and needing a place to sleep at night.

It is particularly appalling that the Union of B. C. Municipalities and the provincial government joined the appeal to argue the spurious “principle” that a ruling based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms impeded elected officials from setting public policy.

Perhaps a remedial course on Constitutional Law 101 is in order for those agencies.

Still, at least Mayor Dean Fortin and Council have done the right thing by deciding not to appeal the most recent ruling.

I would urge them to seriously consider establishing a tent city on city lands as a temporary solution until enough affordable housing and supportive housing units are built to house those who are sleeping outdoors on cold winter nights.

Several U. S. jurisdictions have implemented this approach successfully.

As the temperature dips below freezing, it is our obligation as a community to do whatever we can to make sure all our residents have access to safe and warm shelter every night of the year.

 

Eric Kaye

Victoria 

 

CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria Times Colonist: timescolonist.com

Our own tent city would keep them warm

Friday, December 18, 2009

Page A13

CCC

 

 

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