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

Agassiz Community Gardens hoping to find new home at old McCaffrey school

The society has been looking for a new location since its previous gardens were sold in October

Kent looking to replace Ferny Coombe pool with indoor facility

The facility being built is dependent on grant funding from the province and federal government

Escape room brings ‘out of the box’ activity to Agassiz

AESS alumni and teacher developed the concept to bring teamwork-based entertainment to the town

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Liberals reject Karen Wang’s hope for ‘second chance’ in byelection vs. Singh

Former Burnaby South candidate dropped out after a post on the Chinese social media platform WeChat

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Overtime heroics help Giants to victory State-side

The Lower Mainland’s premier major junior hockey team earned a victory Wednesday over the Americans.

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Most Read