Anti-poverty group call for creation of plan to address Prince Rupert social issues

The Kaien Anti-Poverty Society is calling on the City of Prince Rupert to create a plan to address social issues facing the community.

The Kaien Anti-Poverty Society (KAPS) is calling on the City of Prince Rupert to create a plan to address the many social issues facing the community.

Speaking at the April 28 meeting of council, KAPS chair Simona Ionita and KAPS manager Colleen Hermanson said the situation in the city is worse than residents may be aware of.

“I see people living in poverty every day and for me, coming from a third world country, I don’t want to see poverty in Prince Rupert. I don’t know how you sleep, but I don’t sleep well at all when I see seniors and children coming to our office on McKay Street to get food because they can’t afford it … everybody is saying ‘LNG is going to come we’re going to have millions of dollars’. LNG may be coming, but there are people living in poverty now and I don’t want to see them left behind,” said Ionita, pointing to one 70 year-old who has no money left after paying rent for the month.

“We recognize that we are on the verge of a boom, but with a boom bad things can come to the most vulnerable,” said Hermanson, who noted up to 50 bags of food can be handed out during one session of the group’s food share program.

The issues surrounding poverty resonated with those in council chambers, with some councillors agreeing to volunteer to help KAPS find solutions.

“I don’t think poverty is on our top five list for the community, but it should be … people talk about what they see in third world countries, but then you come back here and see people living in similar conditions and it is not talked about in Prince Rupert,” said Coun. Judy Carlick-Pearson.

Other councillors agreed and put much of the blame on the shoulders of the provincial government.

“We have to go after the province for social services because the system right now is broken,” said Coun. Gina Garon.

“We have already had one tragic event in Prince Rupert and we need to start coming up with solutions from within the community. I would like to see the province get involved, but they don’t seem to want to step up … people don’t realize just how much need there is in this community,” said Coun. Barry Cunningham.

Before leaving the speaker’s table, Ionita encouraged council to push harder for a treatment centre in Prince Rupert so those facing addiction don’t need to travel to Prince George for assistance.

Just Posted

VIDEO: New whale rescue equipment comes to Rupert

Fisheries officers took to the water to practice saving stranded whales

Streeter: Do you think it’s important that the government holds discussions about poverty with the public?

Prince Rupert hosted the first public discussion on poverty by the province in 2018

Rupert recreation parking rent fees set to decrease in 2018

Proposed changes will make it easier for vendors and renters to use recreation facilities

Sports briefs

Here’s what going on in Prince Rupert sports this weekend

Coal train derailment near New Hazelton

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment in Northern B.C.

This Week Episode 68

From inside the Northern View office in Prince Rupert we bring you all the news headlines

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Most Read