Housing and the homeless

Letters

I can’t help noting a certain irony about the Prestige Hotel being held as the venue for the District of Sooke’s recent forum on homelessness and affordable housing, however, the sound system didn’t work and they couldn’t seem to control the air conditioning, so I suppose even the affluent have their problems.

The district posed the question to the charitable minded room, “what do you need from us?” My initial thoughts were, governments can’t touch anything without making at least two more problems for every one they propose to fix, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. While some hands were out, the answer that resonated best with me was “get out of our way,” in respect to a rezoning application by one organization planning to provide a facility on Church Road. It was also suggested “not to let perfection stand in the way of good enough,” which I thought was a great line.

“…the poor you have with you always,” and there is a valid place for government in our affairs, so long as it is kept in mind that the government takes from us by force that which would otherwise be given charitably, then wastes most of it.

The morning rant off my chest, I have some suggestions:

1) The sewer tax is charged on vacant properties, which is patently unreasonable. To balance things out, the district could off-set sewer charges to charitable developments, particularly if laundry and public shower facilities are offered.

2)      Poor people have children, and housing is but one of a host of problems caused by lack of money, not necessarily any deficiency of character. Children are expensive. Programs like Strong Start cannot be run without a place. Schools could be given an offset in sewer charges to make space and facilities available for children’s programs.

3)  Every other Tuesday we have literally thousands of dollars in blue-box money sitting by the curb, protected with an enforced CRD “no-scavenging” bylaw. Apparently the recycling program really needs the money. I think if anyone is willing to humble themselves to pick through the garbage, they probably need it more than the CRD does, and we should give them a permit to do so.

4) The typical response by the district to a complex problem like this is to charter an expensive consultant. This issue is neither novel nor new, and a good start for Sooke would be to go to this web site and download The Municipal Role in Meeting Ontario’s Affordable Housing Needs. http://www.ontarioplanners.on.ca/pdf/Handbook_022801.pdf

Terrance Martin

Sooke

As of this issue the Sooke News Mirror will discontinue printing letters from council candidates until after the upcoming election.

Just Posted

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Jordan River is his home and he’s working to save it

Wayne Jackaman’s own mining background put to use to help save Jordan River

Victoria teen killed by falling tree remembered as hero

Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling towards him and his friends

Langford liquor store targeted by thieves twice in one night

West Shore RCMP seek to identify break and enter suspect

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read