Editor, The News:
This must be an incredibly difficult time for the actual residents of tent city in Maple Ridge as their perennial space is invaded as the city staff and fire departments comb the camp and all it tents and structures, searching for anything that might pose a danger to the residents or anyone else in the community or government agency employees.
But this is best for everyone, if you were to see the condition of the camp or talk to some residents of it, or see the evidence presented in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
You might agree.
There are many people who need help and are seeking refuge. They may suffer from various conditions: mental illness; drug addiction; poverty; health issues; or just a series of unfortunate happenings.
This puts them in a difficult situation and, in my opinion, the last thing they need it to be surrounded by chaos – drug dealers, prostitutes, thieves, thugs and gangsters.
Regardless of why a person comes to be homeless, if you are struggling you need a safe place to go to get back on your feet or be directed to the help and support you need, this clean up of the camp will make it a cleaner safer place and is in no way designed to exclude anyone who is seeking refuge and a better situation.
The reason that people are being identified is to connect them with housing, a safe warm supportive place to get back on their feet.
This will also exclude people who were praying on the less fortunate, encouraging drugs, theft and prostitution and perpetrating bullying manipulation and violence against these folks.
This includes Alliance Against Displacement, which has incited rebellion towards the people who actually want to help these people.
Alliance Against Displacement has encouraged the disrespect of city staff, firefighters, police and the general population.
This is not advocation, but manipulation. The people who were arrested don’t live there, except for one.
Its time to take the political veil off this situation and get down to the real work of getting these people the help they need.