Action must be taken

Dear Vernon city council and Health Minister Adrian Dix, people have waited long enough. Isn’t it time something was done about the homelessness, or should I say the drug problem in Vernon?

Isn’t it time that the province starts to invest money back into our social services? Let skip the urge to finger-point at the last government, and actually do something.

Isn’t it time that our cities start having a more active role in mental health? Has our system failed? Isn’t it time for people to get the help they need and, undoubtedly, want and, by being people, deserve.

The province needs to dramatically increase addiction treatment in the Okanagan. Would the City of Vernon support treatment centres or increased beds in existing programs?

What discussions have occurred between the province, health authority and the City of Vernon? When were these discussions?

The topics/agenda: copies provided on websites? If already provided, where, which websites? What were the decisions made? Time lines, budgets, etc.? What committees were or will be created? When and where will there meetings be held?

What legal authority does the city have to act independently from the province and health authority to provide treatment facilities?

What are the current plans of the city in relation to the pending legalization of pot in public?

What bylaws will be enforced? When will local public consultation take place? Let’s also have a symposium with local organizations on this topic, focusing on what’s needed to help these people.

We have all seen this in-person, driving past almost every day. We all know, this is all too real and present, not just in Vernon but throughout the province. It’s either too large for us to tackle, and we have failed, or it’s not. Time will not heal this alone.

Even with the economy slowly getting better, things won’t get better for these individuals. They have hit rock bottom.

We cannot forget our responsibility to help those in need. This is regardless of what life choices they have made. They are, without treatment, not hire-able.

David Sutch


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