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EDITORIAL – Action, not just words, needed on social housing and crime

Rosethorn House on Victoria Street West. (Image: BC Housing)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

KUDOS TO SEVERAL CITY COUNCILLORS who are determined to wrestle the issue of social housing and associated street crime to the ground.

Coun. Bill Sarai presented a lengthy notice of motion as Tuesday’s Kamloops council meeting was winding down aimed at getting some action. He wants more 24/7 security patrols hired for downtown and on the Tranquille shopping corridor, subsidies for businesses to install more surveillance cameras and more co-ordination from provincial ministries to get a handle on the problem.

He proposes asking the province to review criteria for social housing projects and support programs as well as ensuring wrap-around services are provided when new housing is built.

Sarai was followed by Coun. Dale Bass, who submitted her own notice of motion proposing use of federal-provincial Safe Restart COVID funding for street-related issues such as washroom options for the homeless, additional storage and temporary housing.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8126 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Action, not just words, needed on social housing and crime

  1. Jennie Stadnichuk // February 24, 2021 at 12:22 PM // Reply

    I agree with Pierre’s suggestion : “The other thing is we have many organizations in Kamloops providing social services. Instead of asking Victoria to ask the various organizations why don’t they (the councilors) go and ask directly? Or summon them to provide some sort of account for their activities, successes and challenges?” Asking directly is the quickest way to learn what ‘s needed.

  2. Nobody seems to have any idea how to fix the problem and everyone is quick at looking at the next level of government to do something or ask for ongoing financial help. However the money, at least some, is already available. It is just the way it is spent that need re-considered. A true ground braking local initiative would be if council decide to scrutinize a little more the cost of civic projects, the true need of such projects and how some of these projects get tendered. But none of them are willing to ask some tough questions, instead relying on the patronizing stance of administration. At this point, unless a deity intervenes, nothing will change. The other thing is we have many organizations in Kamloops providing social services. Instead of asking Victoria to ask the various organizations why don’t they (the councilors) go and ask directly? Or summon them to provide some sort of account for their activities, successes and challenges?

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