BC Liberals say NDP’s first promise is ‘permanent homeless camps’

THE B.C. Liberals said on Wednesday that as communities across British Columbia continue to deal with the fallout from the NDP’s warehousing of those in need, a key NDP cabinet minister is now calling for permanent camps instead.

“As someone who has had a homeless camp in her community I’ve seen the horrific conditions people live in, the public safety dangers, and the devastation to the nearby residents and small businesses. It’s not acceptable. Communities want to feel safe, they want to make sure people get the support they need, and they want to know government has their back,” said Chelsa Meadus, BC Liberal candidate in Maple Ridge-Mission. “What they don’t want is the NDP throwing up their hands and saying let’s make these camps permanent. They are looking for leadership, for someone to offer solutions so parents feel safe and people get support. Giving these camps the government seal of approval is simply wrong.”

Meadus was responding to comments made by NDP candidate Melanie Mark, who serves as Advanced Education Minister, about the level of lawlessness in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood and who said “sanctioned encampment” is the way to go. The camp in Meadus’ community was shut down by fire authorities after multiple explosions of propane tanks. If the large propane tank had exploded this could have cost people their lives.

“Residents across the province have felt the impact of the NDP’s policies as they are failing to keep communities safe,” added Todd Stone, the BC Liberal candidate in Kamloops-South Thompson. “Whether it is camps or the NDP warehousing people without the right supports, it has been parents and small businesses that have had to deal with the fallout. The idea of entrenching camps and making them a permanent part of the neighbourhood is deeply flawed.”

The BC Liberals said they have been calling for the NDP to provide proper support for neighbourhoods and those in need.