Re: Tony Markle’s recent letter to the editor about refugees.
I am sorry to hear a community member focusing on all that will be taken from us rather than embracing the love and compassion that makes the world a place for all to live in, in peace.
I am challenged to understand how Markle believes that the homeless and refugee housing equate. The complexity of homeless people embraces the issue of drugs and mental heath, the big business of temporary sheltering that diminishes the funds for permanent shelters and the needs of the homeless to live in very specific places.
We have a government that has destroyed a large hospital in Abbotsford rather than using it for housing. Here in this community, we have an empty elementary school, which we pay to maintain. In my estimation there is very little will by some levels of government and the public to address the homeless. I recently read of $15 million being used to subsidize a future art gallery that would house photography.
The article suggested that this new gallery will enhance the beauty of the lower Lonsdale area. The gallery was the wonder of a large development company that has built housing throughout the Lower Mainland. What about the need for affordable housing? Probably not enhancing for the many upscale communities that have sprung up every where.
The housing choices that will be offered for the refugees will come from citizens and charity organizations that have found housing for these new residents, but there is no doubt that this housing would never serve the homeless for many reasons.
This government doesn’t care about health care costs, other than to remind us how much money we are taking from other services, as though we are in charge of this system. In fact, we have a government that has chosen a model of health authorities that have no accountability to the public, but prevent the opportunity for dialogue with the government.
We have only to look at the Oceanside Health Centre, a centre that has served the authority to a greater extent than the public. The health providers and the users needs were disregarded and so for a $17 million cost we have failed the citizens but met the needs of government.
Markle said “charity is great if you can afford it.” This community has great wealth.
The ultimate sacrifice that we the Canadian public will be making is to share our values and embrace the changes that new cultures bring.