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

Victoria

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