Being compassionate is not ‘spineless’

Re: “Turn city’s parks into private property,” letter, Oct. 4.

Regarding the “latest round of tent-city antics,” the letter-writer blames “public officials [who] don’t have the spine to do their jobs properly” for the lack of decisive action to “control where the dregs could congregate.”

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He’s obviously quite proud of his solution — described as “greatly beneficial to all” — to transfer public parks to a non-profit private corporation, so that the Trespass Act could be more effectively enforced on park lands.

But I think he’s wrong about the reason the city hasn’t moved in this direction; “spineless” or not, our public officials know that most city residents are not callous enough to support such an action.

How can I be so sure? In all the letters to the Times Colonist that I’ve read on this subject, his is the first to use the word “dregs” to describe these vulnerable members of our society; even the least sympathetic before him had the decency and empathy not to use such dehumanizing language.

The letter-writer is a fortunate man, if he was born without mental-health issues and if he never experienced an event that shattered his life. It is a shame that he has not used his position of strength and stability to reflect on that fact, and on the fact that not everyone has been so lucky.

Ben Morris


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