EDITORIAL: 10-5-and out

Communities in Parksville Qualicum Beach aren't able to offer housing options for homeless people who may set up camp here

The City of Parksville is doing the right thing by attempting to get out front of the issue of homeless encampments in the city.

The devil, as always, is in the details.

It could be said the city is actually way behind the issue. There are currently camps in wooded areas both inside and just outside the city limits — we’ve visited them. They have been there for years, but there is a question about whether they are strictly for homeless people or distribution/production/staging areas for drug dealing.

If the Oceanside RCMP is aware of these camps, or have done anything about them, their members have not communicated anything about them to the public or media.

What the city is currently trying to address relates to the battles we’ve seen in the last year in places like Abbotsford, Vancouver and Victoria. The Supreme Court ruled people have a right to the security of the person, which essentially means safe housing.

A court ruling is expected today in Victoria regarding that city’s tent city on provincial courthouse land. The provincial government argued it has housing for all in the tent city, which fulfills the Supreme Court conditions. The campers don’t like the housing options, or want to make a larger point about poverty, so they have refused to move.

What would happen if 50 people showed up with tents on city-owned land in Parksville? It’s not like the city could say it has safe housing for them. If we read the Supreme Court ruling correctly, that means the city could not evict people from a tent city that springs up on, say, the Jensen Avenue/Alberni Highway land across from the fire hall.

So, we are back to where we were a year ago, the issue of facilities for the homeless of Parksville Qualicum Beach. It’s not an issue the city and its property owners can resolve. It’s a provincial government issue. Housing Minister Rich Coleman may be able to say he has housing for those in Victoria, but what about communities that are not in earshot of his office in the Legislature?

There are solutions. The support team is in place in Parksville. These professionals have adopted the respected Housing First mantra. A good first step — our suggestion, not theirs — would be what we call 10-5-out. That’s 10 shelter beds where people can transition to five supportive housing units and then out to their own place as they become active members of the taxpaying, working class and no longer a drain on the provincial budget.

It’s up to Coleman and his fellow cabinet minister, Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell, to show they care about homelessness issues outside the provincial capital.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Voter turnout in Qualicum Beach surpasses 57 per cent

Approximately 43 per cent cast ballot in Parksville

Senior Whalers duke it out but suffer loss

Ballenas need to win last two games to make it to the playoffs

Paper delivery may be late in some areas Oct. 25

Please note delivery of the PQB News may be late in some… Continue reading

Regional District of Nanaimo board will be almost all new

Only 3-4 directors out of 19 returning to RDN board table

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Island Health encourages sexual assault survivors to #TrustYourself

New social media campaign urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

Most Read