Letters Aug. 13: Mental illness; untidy street; unfriendly to strangers

Glendale had a different purpose

Re: “Tent cities versus human rights,” letter, Aug. 11.

The writer is misinformed with his assertion that Glendale was a facility for people with addictions or mental illness. On the contrary!

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Like Woodlands in New Westminster, and Tranquille near Kamloops, it housed men, women, and children with intellectual disabilities.

People with intellectual disabilities may, like the general population, have mental health issues; however, they are more often living with Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy or other significant brain injuries.

When these institutions were closed their residents were successfully accommodated in their local communities with their families or in community living facilities with appropriate living and life supports.

Let’s not confuse those living successfully with intellectual disabilities with those who are struggling with homelessness and profound mental health issues.

The latter need the same level of support in a different and I think more challenging societal context!

John Stevenson
Victoria

Time to clean Government Street

Government Street is looking so sad. The restaurant street patios look tawdry. And when was the last time a street cleaner hosed things down? Do the patios prevent that?

Seagull poop mixed with dead leaves and trash. Overheard at one of those restaurant patios, “It’s so dirty here!”

Spot on!

Another cut of a thousand in the death of the city’s charm.

Mark Moore
Duncan

Back to school with tents across the street

I live in James Bay and have experienced the effects of the tent encampment in Beacon Hill Park.

I agree the homeless problem is the result of gaps in our social safety net.

Classes will resume in September at South Park school under the cloud of the pandemic. The situation across Douglas Street from the school is another reason the encampment must be moved.

Children, in some cases starting school for the first time, are the most vulnerable members of our society. The stress, risk and danger to children attending South Park needs to be mitigated.

If even one child is injured or scared by the encampment residents, we have all failed.

Helga Avila
Victoria

Vandalism needs to be condemned

The B.C. border has not been closed by public health authorities. All Canadians including Albertans have the right to travel in B.C. while abiding by local public health protocols without being subject to vandalism and harassment.

B.C. residents who vandalize vehicles of Albertans in B.C. are committing crimes.

Premier John Horgan’s failure to condemn such crimes and harassment by some B.C. residents and his absurd admonishment to Albertans to change their licence plates or use public transit is appalling and irresponsible.

It is a Trump-style dog whistle condoning acts of vandalism and harassment by B.C. residents against Albertans.

Horgan fails to heed the advice of health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, to “be kind, be calm, be safe.”

Horgan and many B.C. residents suffer from the delusion that B.C. is for the exclusive benefit of B.C. residents.

Horgan’s statements reflect a parochial politician risen to the level of his own incompetence and they reflect what is wrong with Canada.

There has been a long standing and ongoing failure of leadership by the prime minister and provincial premiers in finding any national purpose or interest beyond the backyards of provinces.

So long as premiers like Horgan are in office, Canada is no more than a confederation of provincial backyards.

James Duffus
Calgary

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