LETTERS: There are better ways to address homelessness in our community

Council is allowing itself to be bullied out of fear of looking uncompassionate, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Councillors hear demands from tent city campers, March 18.

The ‘Society of Living Illicit Drug Users.’ That has such a nice ring to it. Do they meet every second Tuesday to discuss club events and charitable works? No, but they have ‘demands.’ Whom are they making demands upon? How about the working family, whose demands include paying the mortgage. Or the single mom who wonders how she’ll meet her rent and still manage a music lesson for her daughter. Or the soccer coach, who just finished work, barely ate dinner and just made practice on time. These folks don’t make demands of others, they make contributions to others. City council is allowing itself to be bullied out of fear of looking uncompassionate, when real compassion would include a public expectation that drug users accept help leading to real change. Taxpayers are willing to support those who want to leave a destructive lifestyle, but providing ever-increasing ‘support’ by way of needle exchanges, supervised injection sites, drop-in centres and user-friendly housing with no expectation of behavioural change invites more, rather than less, antisocial behaviour.

Randy O’Donnell, Nanaimo

To the editor,

Re: Councillors hear demands from tent city campers, March 18.

Someone should remind the city council and inform the protesters that homelessness is not the responsibility of the city. It is the responsibility of the province and the federal government. Using Nanaimo municipal taxpayer resources to provide for these protesters is wrong. Furthermore, where and when these homeless people can camp was ruled on by the Supreme Court of Canada: 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in public parks, I believe, not on private property or in school yards, etc.

Rob Palmer, Nanaimo


The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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