A commentary by the mayors of Kelowna and Victoria, on behalf of the B.C. Urban Mayors’ Caucus.
During the election campaign, the B.C. Urban Mayors’ Caucus released a Blueprint for B.C.’s Urban Future. It called on all parties to address mental health, substance use and treatment, affordable housing, public transit, and to develop a new, sustainable and predictable funding relationship with local governments. All of these issues are important to the well-being of our communities and the health of our economies. Here we emphasize two points out of the four.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an unprecedented escalation in the challenges facing our communities, stemming from the mental health and substance crises and lack of treatment options in our communities. These crises existed before COVID-19, but have been exacerbated by a toxic drug supply, the increased level of pandemic-related homelessness and encampments, and increasing stigma and anger from some members of our communities.  Read the rest of this article at The Times Colonist…

Image: Vancouver, Canada – July 4, 2020: View of Strathcona Park in downtown Vancouver full of tents and homeless people with sign “Permanent solutions now” in the background | iStockphoto