Editor, The News:
I wonder how many of your readers have read the article in the Globe and Mail about tent cities in Canada. Maple Ridge figured prominently as a municipality that has been hostile to tent cities and to the people who live there.
I am sure that compassionate and reasonable people would find this a very uncomfortable article to read. It is my understanding that the province of B.C. has built temporary modular housing in Maple Ridge, but the city council has nixed an offer for a permanent building, leaving the province to build housing without the consent of the municipality.
Homelessness has many causes; mental illness and addictions are two. However, the sky-high cost of rental accommodation combined with Metro Vancouver’s relatively low salaries are another reason.
In addition, many people on pensions did not anticipate the high cost of housing and have been caught short at a vulnerable time in their lives.
If we are to make any progress in reducing homelessness, it will take good will, creativity and some solid commitment to assisting these people who are also citizens of our cities and municipalities.
I can only hope that many in Maple Ridge will rise to the challenge and consider their responsibilities to some of our most fragile citizens.