LETTER: Dumping the problem on municipalities

How does Abbotsford solve this growing problem when our senior level of government in Victoria has abdicated its responsibility?

Andrew Holota wrote in his Feb.27 editorial: “Once again, Abbotsford is in the news for its ‘treatment’ of the homeless … this city is caught in a level of political correctness beyond reason and reality.

“The city is under a legal and media microscope, justifiably paranoid about creating a juicy sound bite or vulnerability in court. Thus, city hall can’t move to clean up the awful mess at the ‘protest’ homeless camp on Gladys…”

Andrew is right, and this city is fast becoming a rat-infested dump.

How does Abbotsford solve this growing problem when our senior level of government in Victoria has abdicated its responsibility?

Then to compound the problem, as Mr. Holota says, the city has to spend time and money fighting for the right to keep private and public land from being taken over by squatters, in provincial court.

If our city tries to put a stop to the growing blight, the CBC and assorted media will be here, reporting in tones earnest and grave on the cruel Bible Belt, (somehow forgetting they had to drive away from seeing Vancouver’s DTES squalor.

How can the public support the expanding tent cities?

Many, many people have had the city descend on them for minor alterations and repairs that were deemed out of line with building codes.   Now these same people who faithfully submit a portion of their toil into three levels of government taxation.

In return they are mocked for their lack of love in thinking there are rules and regulations that fairly govern all citizens.  They don’t understand why some folk can set up tents and structures anywhere they wish.  And woe betide any Abbotsford citizen who dares protests those ‘camps’.

This is a terrible situation.  Some of those people would no doubt be greatly helped by a swift kick (metaphorically speaking).  But probably the majority need help with the most basic aspects of living, and there is money, but the provincial government squanders obscene amounts of our tax dollars.

This is a problem that cannot be dumped on municipalities.

Come on Premier Clark!  Step up to the plate.

Gerda Peachey, Abbotsford