City hall now has several tents outside its walls, statement on the homeless issue in Prince Rupert. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: Housing, a basic right

A protest outside Prince Rupert’s city hall is calling for a men’s homeless shelter

As the nights grow colder, the heat on the homeless situation in Prince Rupert is turned way up.

City hall is feeling the heat, but the flames are unlikely to reach the decision makers in Victoria.

If anything, all residents of Prince Rupert can now see the homeless issue every time they walk or drive down Third Avenue West.

Since Wednesday, Nov. 8, the tents continue to occupy space on the lawn outside city hall to protest the lack of affordable housing, and need for a homeless shelter for men.

People who have found themselves sleeping in alleyways, in the shadows of the city, have taken the opportunity to sleep in donated tents, in plain sight, revealing how many have been living under the often tempestuous sky.

Superficially, this is a city problem with the protest staring straight at city hall’s wall. The mayor has found himself once again explaining that BC Housing and the province have the power alone to bring a housing solution for those less fortunate.

READ MORE: TENTS RAISED OUTSIDE CITY HALL TO DRAW ATTENTION TO HOMELESSNESS

In a letter, Mayor Lee Brain blames speculation around the LNG industry, and growth of the port to why there are few rentals left under $900/month. In the North Coast MLA’s response to the tent city, Jennifer Rice blames the previous government. “Sixteen years of BC Liberal neglect has contributed to the housing crisis in Prince Rupert,” she wrote.

But enough blame. Industry has also brought more money to the region. Stop glaring back at previous governments and move forward.

READ MORE: RICE RESPONDS TO PRINCE RUPERT’S MINI TENT CITY

We now have an MLA in government who lives in this city and who is also the parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness. She may not be the housing minister, but she has enough clout to carry the Prince Rupert banner to Victoria and ask for what her most vulnerable constituents are calling for.

On Nov. 10, Rice visited Rupert’s mini-tent city and wrote on her Facebook page: “I will do everything in my power to find better support for homeless people in Prince Rupert.”

With all her power, she could start with providing the most basic of options in this city, a homeless shelter.



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sports Briefs: Skating, Seawolves and Rainmakers basketball

Wins all around, plus some mini Olympic fun

COCULLO & KURIAL: Reporters at home with Hometown Hockey

Everyone we interacted with went above and beyond to involve us in the experience.

IN OUR OPINION: Redesign the City of Prince Rupert

City gives Special Events Society and Arts Council the boot

PRPA Community Investment Fund hits its target once again

Prince Rupert Port Authority contributes $29,500 to revitalization of Rod and Gun Club

Only one week left for Santa Shops Here grand prize

Inland Air harbour tour for four up for grabs

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read