VANCOUVER (August 2, 2019) – BC Liberal MLAs are joining Vancouver-Kingsway residents in demanding that John Horgan and the NDP focus on long-term solutions for homelessness in the community, especially around the Nanaimo SkyTrain Station.
“Once again, we are seeing John Horgan and the NDP quick to throw money at modular housing projects without proper supports, just to keep the homeless population out of sight and out of mind,” said Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson. “Homelessness is a serious issue in Vancouver but it can’t be solved by just putting a roof over someone’s head and hoping for the best.”
The local community has come out to oppose plans for a three-storey development at 2303-2355 Vanness Avenue, near the Nanaimo SkyTrain Station, that would be similar to the inadequate modular housing programs in Maple Ridge and Nanaimo.
“John Horgan’s reckless policy of building modular housing for the homeless without full, 24/7, wraparound supports has already endangered public safety in Maple Ridge and Nanaimo,” added Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour. “We have to help people regain their lives which requires a continuum of care including help with mental health issues and plans for long term treatment and recovery.”
In 2018, Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) saw an increase of 22.92 per cent in Maple Ridge and a 20.85 per cent increase in Nanaimo. That same year, Maple Ridge also saw a 22.85 per cent increase in violent crime and a 20.33 per cent increase in property crime over the previous year.
“If this project proceeds, we’ll only see crime rates rise in the neighbourhood just as it has around the NDP’s other modular housing locations,” concluded Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie. “This government must focus on increasing the supply of housing and providing appropriate housing and resources to those suffering from mental health and addictions issues on our streets.”