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Homeless in Smithers, Province pressures municipality..

The world has lots it's mind. Chief Court Justice Hinkson in October last year supported this “When you’ve set up a place to sleep for the night, someone comes along and threatens you or forces you to leave,” says Harvey Clause, a member of DWS who testified during the trial. “It’s no way to live. It’s tiring, to be forced to move every day or every night when you’re cold and wet and have no place to go. I hope the Court’s decision is a chance to get at the root causes of homelessness.” The decision far from placed the onus on the Fed and Prov Governments, all it did was download yet again to municipalities.

It's unbelievable to me that the decision of a court of law is the final and ultimate decision maker provincially. It is not... we the people are. We need to decide, if our elected council does not understand. Who says the Municipality is required to act? The regulatory box is the problem, who is accepting this boxing in of our city, there is always a choice? So much is wrong with the push to force this issue on municipalities and their tax payers. Where to begin with this insanity? Enforcement of such a ridiculous idea as to require the homeless to pack up every morning is designed to fail, who enforces this and at what cost? Surely not the bylaw officer... who then. the RCMP... opps. Nope, not their problem, its a municipal bylaw. Ok.... well, how about the location. If it is not to the liking of the folks that want to be near downtown for obvious reasons, then all is for naught. They will find their own place and squat… you know they will.

Just because the court say “you must “ to city council… must you? What if it turns out to be a gross error, then what, right again… we as tax payers pay to clean up the mess with our hard earned dollars.

These folks need help, not a bylaw… they need to feel seen, valued … like their lives matter. Not shuffled off again, herded and humiliated.

The Federal and Provincial governments have dumped billions of our tax dollars on Covid, helping other countries and politically motivated special interest groups yet could care less about our local problems. Enough is enough. If our local council will not take a stand, who will… I think you know who it fall on.. us the tax payer.

The mayor appears to be acting according to the wishes of the Provincial Government, getting support on the ground from elected NDP sitting members of the legislature during the civic election. It does not surprise me that there is no stand taken, no push back, no questioning of the eidict. Oddly, the Minster of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship MLA , Nathan Cullen, handed our mayor 2.3 million (March 2, 2023)for infrastructure just prior to the NCLGA meetings (March 9, 2023) and on return from that tax payer funded event we find out that we have to decide which park we are to sacrifice for the “common good”.

Is it just me or are the priorities and critical thinking of our government and elected official’s so out of touch with what we actually need extremely frightening. Where are their priorities?

What do we do, enter into a competition with other municipalities and vie for the nicest overnight homeless facility, then what… attract other struggling people who would like to be treated well and see them move here, or unfairly see those folks already here migrate to a better place in BC. Great for us but what about those cities and locations? Is that fair?

A provincial government and judiciary that can’t even effectively address the downtown lower east side of Vancouver, yet legalize cocaine manufacture, facilitate and condone drug use without decent recovery program implementation want to tell us how to effectively deal with our local problem. This leaves me feeling disgusted as the world is approaching an unprecedented time of instability, those without homes now will be joined by many who look at the homeless with compassion. It is time for a bold new direction and approach, those who tell us how to deal with Smithers need to back off.

This is a band-aid on an amputation yet again.. how short sighted. Please say no to those who try to push this on us and find a solution that makes sense. A dedicated location with Federal and Provincial funding to house those who need help, in a structured, helpful and safe environment that meets their needs in a way they are comfortable but not coddled. Assist those who need help in canada, instead of lining the pocket of foreign governments and provincial special interests. Do not push this problem down the road as tempting as it is and as those who are politically motivated and hold power, direct you to do. As one who has stood against provincial mandates I understand the ramifications of doing the right thing in the face of power and pressure, however, the right thing to do is not always the easy road.

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