To the Friends of Foster Park and their 1,000 plus signature petitioners, I applaud your determination in opposing Mayor Marc Lefebvre and council for adopting an unfortunate bylaw allowing overnight tenting in some city-owned parks and open spaces, including Foster Park.
Lefebvre claims: “…the city could face expensive legal battles if it puts wider bans on overnight accommodation in city-owned spaces.” The mayor and council should be severely criticized for drawing a large bullseye on Parksville by proclaiming to a disenfranchised segment of society you are welcome to camp in our public parks.
Council should have had the fortitude to ban overnight tenting in all public parks so as to protect these sensitive land resources set aside for the enjoyment of tax-paying citizens, families, children and seniors of this municipality. To designate tenting in certain parks is ludicrous and questions what political agenda are council following.
I find this to be an over reaction to this generation’s obsession with political correctness on the term “homeless,” which is nothing more than a patronizing attempt to globally group and sanitize a definition of many forms of marginalized people under one umbrella.
The majority of these people are the vagrants, loiterers and street beggars, drug addicts and alcoholics, opportunistic wanderers seeking welfare with sunny weather and thrown in with them are a smattering of truly unfortunate people unable to cope mentally and financially in today’s society.
And so, when these people occupy Foster Park (a “pocket park”) with their tents and garbage in a park designated as a children’s playground in a residential neighborhood, don’t insult the surrounding homeowners by claiming the campers are simply the homeless. The term homeless and homelessness is as ill gotten as is the term homeless shelter — a classic oxymoron.
Lefebvre and council, including Coun. Sue Powell (who skated the edge of this issue with her obscure rationalization), will no doubt feel the objections of voters at the next election. Where can I and other supporters sign the petition?