Sunday, January 04, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Newly elected City Councillor Kerry Jang, it is being reported on local News 1130 thinks that Minister Rich Coleman's idea of forcing people into shelters when the temperature drops below zero is unacceptable. Councillor Jang goes on to say that there are civil liberties involved regarding this idea and therefore there needs to be debate around this issue.

Yes there does need debate so let us go there.

By extension if we follow the logic expressed by Councillor Jang, what he is saying is that our homeless have the right to kill themselves in public and this absolutely requires public debate.

I'll be the first out the gate saying I'm not willing to accept that people have the constitutional right to kill themselves in public view. This is not what I will ever embrace as a humanitarian tenet of the Canadian way of life or law.

It is absolutely absurd that Councillor Jang who is a professor of psychiatry would promote this. In fact, it is downright scary.

Mr Jang goes on to state that we can make shelters safe by removing the drug addicted and drug traffickers from them.

The majority of those who are being sheltered are the exact people Councillor Jang proposes that we get rid of.

Mr Jang goes on to state that Vancouver has accommodating shelters due to having space made available for shopping carts, pets etc and that this somehow will get more of the homeless off our streets.

Of course, Gregor's Shelters (shopping cart shelters) has not eliminated homelessness on our streets, moreover, it hasn't made a dent and it won't. Police and other emergency response officials confirm this.

The City is grasping at straws thinking it can solve homelessness by providing shopping cart shelters (Gregor's Shelters) and I am perplexed that anybody could even think that this is a helpful solution.

Of course, many politicians often care less about solutions as long as they can deceive citizens into believing they are doing something even though they are doing nothing.

Let me be clear here. I'm not a BC Liberal supporter but I think that the time is long overdue that we begin the debate around civil liberties and homelessness.

Minister Rich Coleman's strong position starts this process, however, because our new local government is NDP don't expect any co-operation or collaboration. Instead expect an escalation of inflammatory war of words.

Just talking about homelessness has gotten us nowhere. Action is needed and unfortunately Gregor's Shelters or his Homeless Emergency Action Tam (HEAT) are not the action needed. In fact, Gregor's Shelters are pitiful and Councillor Jang who is a leading member of HEAT, his solutions are just as pitiful.

Caging people up like animals and treating them like animals, making them beg for scraps of food and enabling their addictions but doing so under the guise of compassionate benevolence by making shelters shopping cart friendly is a joke.

Unfortunately for the people snared in this web of deception it is a hellish existence and provides little or no hope of escape or recovery.

Minister Rich Coleman/s suggestion opens the door for those to escape the hellish sheltered hell-hole offerings that our Povertarians have put forth as solutions.

Has this poverty porn industry no shame?

Jamie Lee Hamilton