Government part of the problem

Resident challenges Colin Mayes over comments about homelessness

Having read MP Colin Mayes recent comments in The Morning Star, I am appalled. You stated that, “it’s not governments fault there is homelessness.” Maybe not directly at the federal level, but let me give you a prime example of how our provincial government can create a problem.

Take a good man who has worked every day of his life since he was 15.  He’s 32 and on his way home from work and gets rear-ended. He suffers injuries that make it impossible to work and will require significant rehabilitation.

He collects EI until that runs out and, as ICBC will not settle until he’s returned to work and they can determine wage loss, he is left with no option but to collect welfare.

Welfare agrees, after a lengthy process, that he is disabled and entitled to medical coverage but it’s limited to 12 visits per calendar year of chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage combined.

His visits are used up in the first two months of the year and the therapy he needs in order to return to work is discontinued.

The government is not willing to pay for the rehabilitation of a man who wants nothing more than to work to support his family.

What they will pay for are steadily increasing doses of narcotic medications.

He is developing a tolerance to the drugs, needing more and more to manage his pain, and is slipping quickly into addiction. He’s being locked into the cycle of addiction and poverty that leads to homelessness, and this is absolutely being caused by government policies.

This was my husband’s story 17 years ago. He did recover and return to work when we risked homelessness by choosing to defer payments of our utilities in order to cover the costs of his rehab, so he could return to work and finally settle with ICBC.

How many more stories like ours are out there to be told?

How often do government policies put people at greater risk of homelessness?

How many addicts have been created because drugs are cheaper than rehabilitative treatments?

Government first creates addiction, then offers ineffective treatment where detox beds are plentiful and treatment beds are insufficient.

There are nine detox beds for every one treatment bed in B.C. (the last time I checked).

People make the decision to get well but the resources needed to follow through are not available. A homeless addict coming out of detox has no where to go but back to the street, perpetuating the cycle of addiction.

This is caused directly by government policy.

So, Mr. Mayes, your claim is simply not true. It may not be your level of government that makes these policies, but they are in effect and they are causing the addiction that can lead to homelessness.

 

Sam Zaharia

Vernon

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dance stages Indigenous identity quest in Vernon

Tlakentli merges dance and theatre with two artists from Mexico, of Nahua and Mixteco descent

Pumphouse project puts Vernon taps back on Kal

The capital project at the Kal Lake Pump House to make it flood-resistant is near completion

Accident causing traffic delays in Vernon

The accident happened near the intersection of Alexis Park Drive and 42nd Street

Carlton Cards to close its doors in Vernon

All 254 retail stores across North America will close in the next four to six weeks

Okanagan among Canada’s most at-risk habitats: WWF report

Report found the Okanagan is inadequately protected despite being a hotspot for at-risk species

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Most Read