Camp next to Victoria courthouse remains packed with tents

B.C. a destination for down and out

Premier Christy Clark, Housing Minister Rich Coleman say people are free to come to B.C. and use shelters

News that the Saskatchewan government gave two young men one-way bus passes to B.C. is the latest sign that B.C. is more than ever the destination of choice for out-of-province homeless people.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman shrugged off a report from Saskatchewan that the pair were headed for Victoria, where the province is seeking a court order to wind down a ragged tent camp that sprang up last fall next to the downtown courthouse. The camp has attracted several people from out of province, as well as those who have camped in local parks for years.

“It’s a free country,” said Coleman, when asked if he had prevailed on other provincial governments to deal with their own cases rather than shipping them west.

He said B.C.’s budget for shelters is up about 20 per cent this winter as the annual winter migration of down-and-out people to the province’s mildest climate has swelled. Some of the extra arrivals are coming from Alberta, where the economy has suffered with the downturn in oil and gas prices.

Saskatchewan social services minister Donna Harpauer issued a statement Wednesday that said front-line social workers are being reminded that clients should have a plan in place “before they are given bus tickets to destinations away.”

Premier Christy Clark said one of the two is described as mentally ill, and taking them in is the Canadian thing to do.

“I don’t know very much about them, but I hope that wherever they are, they are able to get the care that they need,” Clark said. “And if they decide to come to British Columbia, we’re going to support them in that.”

 

Just Posted

Working with offenders: a look at Correctional Service Canada

CSC is one of many vendors featured at the upcoming Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair

Women in Business: Artist Sierra Lundy answers your questions

Black Press Media celebrates women who are making a difference

The Amazing Race host brings pizza fundraiser to Victoria

Host of The Amazing Race & 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist, Jon Montgomery, to host Pizza Pigout.

Matt Mays ready to howl into the Victoria night

Veteran Juno-winning rocker combines upbeat and mellower material for Oct. 22 show

Rain ahead for Monday

Plus a look ahead at the week

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Camera licker, wind gusts and rare bird make headlines this weekend

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

App designed to help cut waste and grocery bills

Food security advocates say addressing poverty is ultimate key

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Most Read