NANAIMO – Tony Harris issued the following statement on the city’s homelessness challenges:
“Moving people out of the downtown tent city and into supportive housing was the right decision, and I support the actions taken by BC Housing. As governments and the community take the next steps in tackling these challenges, the process needs to include meaningful engagement with neighbourhoods and residents. Those affected by government decisions must have a say in how those decisions are made.
Residents surrounding the new site locations are raising legitimate concerns including increased criminal activity such as vandalism and theft, as well as general concerns over children’s safety at Beban Park.
We are hearing about a number of ideas from residents on ways to address their concerns. Governments need to work together, listen to the residents and act.
Everyone deserves a roof over their head, and homelessness is a complex issue, often rooted in mental health and addiction challenges, that must be met with compassion for those who are impacted, while also being firm with those who are intentionally disruptive or committing crimes. We need a strong voice in Victoria that will stand up for meaningful investment in mental health and substance use treatment, including recovery programs.
This is just one of the important reasons I’m running and asking voters for a chance to serve – hire me and I’ll work my tail off. As voters in Nanaimo, you have a tremendous opportunity right here in front of you to send a new voice to Victoria for the better this by-election.
I want to assure everyone in Nanaimo that I will be an MLA for each and every one of you, and I’m asking for your support.”
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