Local politicians lukewarm on $50-million homeless plan

The proposal may do more harm than good, particularly to local middle-class families.

Victoria city council has backed a plan asking the Capital Regional District to borrow $50 million to house the homeless, but how this will affect Sooke is still unknown.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said more clarity is needed on the proposal.

“When they broke down what the requisition was per household, it’s a bit tough on Sooke residents because it’s another piece added to the cost,” Tait said. “How do they end up breaking it out, and how it all funnels out in the end? I’m not all clear on that.”

The proposal consists of a region-wide levy of $11.18 per household for a duration of 15 years that would ultimately contribute to 367 units of housing for homeless people and “end homelessness in Greater Victoria by 2018.”

But as much as it sounds like a morally-attractive idea, Tait pointed out that the levy would otherwise be detrimental to groups already struggling in the local community.

“There’s always a case to have affordable housing, but would putting a large [housing] facility in Victoria be of benefit to those people in Sooke that are in these situations? No, likely not,” she said.

Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan said the problem of housing goes much further uphill than the municipal level.

“The underlining issue here is the absence of appropriate support from the senior levels of government, such as the federal government, who has been out of housing for almost 20 years now, and the provincial government that hasn’t focused on the challenges here on the Island,” he said.

CRD Juan de Fuca director Mike Hicks had his doubts too on pushing forward such an initiative without a more thorough consultation.

“As far as I’m concerned, these [homeless people] aren’t necessarily regional people, or even JDF people, or Victoria people, they’re Canadian people, coming from across Canada, so it should be federally-sponsored, or at least, be provincially-sponsored,” he said, adding that he won’t be making any decisions on the subject until he consults with his electoral area ratepayers.

news@sookenewsmirror.com

 

Just Posted

Struggling Victoria adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Highlands group invites provincial leaders to a panel opposing local mining application

The public forum begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Highlands Community Hall, 729 Finlayson Arm Rd.

Sooke volunteers work to save salmon and whales

A half million fish will be released

Sooke refugee group edges closer to sponsorship

Family of five has sheltered in Cairo since 2014

Oak Bay Sgt. struggles through emotional testimony in double murder trial

Andrew Berry is charged with second-degree murder in deaths of daughters Chloe (6) and Aubrey (4)

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

5-year-old Ontario boy who was subject of Amber Alert found safe

Ethan Montes was found with his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

CURATOR’S COLUMN: Dressing up exhibits at the museum

Montana Stanley | Contributed While looking for culture material to supplement the… Continue reading

Most Read