Jody Paterson on homelessness

October 24, 2008 at 8:55 am 1 comment

When Jody speaks on social issues, we should pay attention. Her latest is on tent cities and what we can do now.

Park camps a useful push for real change

Dealing with our problems requires political will, which in turn requires community outrage. The spectre of hundreds of people sleeping in our parks every night — even if rousted by 7 a.m. — will quickly generate all the outrage we need to get this ball rolling at long last.

In fact, it has already wrested 85 new beds out of the province, none of which had even been hinted at until the judgment came down.

B.C.’s Supreme Court essentially ruled that because there aren’t nearly enough shelter beds for everyone on our streets, the people who have to spend the night outside have the right to put a tarp over their heads while they’re sleeping. Hardly an extreme position.

A smart city would respond to such a ruling by using it to bully and push other levels of government into making things happen on the homeless front. A stop-gap bylaw that misses the point of the judgment won’t get us far.

Entry filed under: Election 2008, social issues.

Survey says…! Hearing the candidates–an exercise in futility?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Tamara  |  November 1, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I don’t agree with the law that people should be woken up by 7am. I hope people aren’t concerned with the loss of aesthetic appeal that seeing a homeless person in the park on a Sunday morning might do. There is no threat to safety in most cases, about the same threat of safety as a person like you or I. can understand wanting to use these parks and hence it is hard to do with people sleeping in the gazebos, but maybe perhaps there can be little tent areas (ie: tent cities).

    Reply

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