BC Liberals said on Thursday that a BC Liberal government will work to end tent cities in urban parks. The NDP’s first new promise of the election, courtesy of NDP cabinet minister Melanie Mark, is a plan to make tent cities permanent. Several mayors disagree, communities disagree, and the BC Liberals disagree – it’s only John Horgan and the NDP who think permanent tent cities are a good idea, they added.
“In cities across B.C. people are getting fed up with growing street crime and the increase in violent incidents. We’re all appalled at hearing stories of people being chased, harassed, or attacked. This is wrong, and it needs to be fixed,” said BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson. “Today, we’re putting forward ideas to make our communities safer. Mayors and local governments have come out to say John Horgan and the NDP’s plan of supporting permanent tent cities and warehousing those suffering from mental health and addictions issues without full wrap-around medical supports is failing society’s most vulnerable and it’s failing the people and small businesses impacted.”
An elected BC Liberal government will work more closely with municipalities, police, and community organizations to focus on additional measures such as restricting camping in city parks, enforcing the ban on unsafe roadside panhandling, and exploring alternative approaches to mental health and substance calls.
“Our most vulnerable citizens are being left on the streets of our cities – many suffering from brain injuries, addictions, and untreated mental illness. As a trained physician, I know we need to treat the underlying medical causes of mental illness and addictions. We need to prevent harm to everyone involved,” said Wilkinson. “The NDP have abandoned these neighbourhoods and done nothing more than warehouse people who are seriously ill. We must do better. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities.”
The BC Liberals will make sure courts, law enforcement, and first responders all have the tools to keep everyone safe in our B.C. communities.
“We need prevention and recovery to get people well, and we need to end these lawless camps and tent cities in city parks with a provincial mandate to help these vulnerable British Columbians,” said Wilkinson. “We need to help those that need it most and we need to ensure everyone can feel safe in their communities once again.”