Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight asked some pointed questions last weekend about why Abbotsford MLAs are not looking after their taxpayers’ interests in the case of the endless shuffling of homeless people around Abbotsford.
We quoted some excerpts below.
MLAs silent as Abbotsford homeless shuffle down the street to former squatters’ camp after eviction
By Charlie Smith, Originally published on the straight.com on Sep 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm[excerpt] Some homeless people squatting on Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford have gone back to their former campsite after being kicked out of their makeshift homes this morning (September 12).
In an absurd twist, they moved about 25 metres down the road to the spot where the City of Abbotsford had previously laid chicken manure to get them to leave.
Call it the homeless shuffle.
The city claimed it needed to evict them from the Gladys Avenue site because of health concerns.[excerpt] Extensive research has demonstrated that homelessness is expensive for taxpayers.
A 2008 paper by Simon Fraser University researchers on the housing needs of adults with severe addictions and/or mental illness outlined this in stark terms.[excerpt] Why aren’t the three B.C. Liberal MLAs from Abbotsford—Mike de Jong, Darryl Plecas, and Simon Gibson—raising hell about this?
After all, De Jong is the finance minister. Plecas is a criminologist who knows how to interpret research. And Gibson has taught in the University of Fraser Valley school of business and led workshops at the Justice Institute.
All three claim to be advocates for taxpayers, but they’re not taking any high-profile action or investing any political capital to constructively address the situation on Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford.