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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Complex care spaces nothing more than 'smoke and mirrors'

Nanaimo News Bulletin - 9/18/2022

To the editor,

Re: Complex care on the way for hard-to-house individuals, Aug. 31.

It is deceitful to read about the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions pretending to do something about the mental health and drug problems destroying Nanaimo. The minister's announcement is smoke and mirrors; it is about helping just 30 people over four years who will already be living in housing who will be receiving some sorts of drop-in services. This while an additional 30 new faces likely appear on our streets every week along with the 800 already homeless who need help now.

Men and women on our streets are dying almost daily of overdoses. A lot shoplift and commit crimes to feed their habit. The mentally ill are left to simply flail around but the province tries to dupe us all into thinking the MLA for Nanaimo is actually doing something – not.

A pregnant mom with her four-year-old daughter beside her has just had a paving stone thrown at her stomach by a mentally unstable, lifelong street criminal and all the minister does is hold a newser to brag about really nothing. This is the most shameful and disrespectful announcement by a politician I have ever heard of. She is doing nothing. The minister must resign.

Drake Churchbridge, Nanaimo

To the editor,

Re: Complex care on the way for hard-to-house individuals, Aug. 31.

While the headline holds out the hope of some meaningful help from the province for the beleaguered people in downtown Nanaimo, it seems to be just another political ploy to deflect.

If you read this press release posing as a news story you must conclude it offers nothing of substance. For example it says offering 'spaces' for 30 people by 2025 of that number 10 maybe helped by the end of this year. It also says these spaces don't include beds? How does this address the current crisis we are facing in Nanaimo?

It makes vague reference to providing different supports for those risking homelessness. But I would ask, aren't those supports already in place?

I would really like to think that all politicians are addressing the issue of assisting those addicted and those with mental health issues with some concrete measures and not just more political platitudes.

Mandatory treatment for some of these bedeviled souls is the only answer for not only their safety and well-being but that of the rest of society. What is more humane – mandatory treatment or a toe tag in the morgue?

Jim Taylor, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

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