EDITORIAL: Sooke’s issues are not Victoria’s issues

The Sooke community does not have to pay for something it may not even need.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that affordable housing and homelessness is a problem in Greater Victoria.

This summer’s Grant Manor fire brought it home to Sooke quite dramatically when 20 or so people were left displaced after the fire. It took a good few months to find appropriate housing.

Yet, Victoria city council’s hopes of having the Capital Regional District borrow $50 million to house the homeless seems like it’s throwing the baby out with the bath.

The solution works perfectly for Victoria. After all, so much of the homeless problem is situated in the downtown core. But it will do little to help outlying areas such as Sooke.

Last winter when the emergency weather shelter system was activated across the region, only three people from Sooke area were helped. That in a nutshell should tell you about the degree of homelessness in our backyard.

“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,” said MLA John Horgan.

He’s right, of course.

There are more important matters in Sooke to focus on.

Victoria’s so-called solution to homelessness only helps Victoria, it doesn’t take into account that other communities – Sooke in particular  – are their own entities, and should be treated as such when it comes to such region-wide decisions.

If Victoria city council wants to solve a regional issue, it should look at homelessness in its community. But if it wants the CRD to buck up $50 million, it should be put in the hands of local communities to deal with their own housing issues.

It comes down to local decision for local people.

 

Just Posted

New Sooke councillors face old issues and new challenges

First meeting of new council sets the stage for the future

Passenger passes out on a bus in Sooke

Man was revived and was alert and coherent

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Firefighters rescue horse stuck in Saanich mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Food service workers at Victoria airport protest for second time in four months

Negotiations continue to drag on with employer Compass Group Canada, VAA refuses to engage

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read