(Black Press file photo)

LETTERS: Victoria needs to look at alternatives to Beacon Hill camping situation

In a recent newspaper piece, Mayor Lisa Helps tries vainly to shift the blame for her council’s ill-conceived decision to use Beacon Hill Park as a campground for the disadvantaged, on to Dr. Bonny Henry. Pathetic.

This while she conveniently ignores the advice of experts who work with those in need on a day-to-day basis, and say those people have to be housed in conditions where their safety, health, and well-being can be regularly monitored.

The ability to provide any supervision whatsoever in the many hideaways of Beacon Hill Park is non-existent and I seriously doubt this is what Dr. Henry had in mind when she mentioned “parks.”

Perhaps it is time to move away from the ideology-driven decision-making of this council and refer to common sense, proven administrative techniques used by the United Nations and the Red Cross to run camps worldwide.

Their camps are contained and controlled, and while the scale may be larger than what we in Victoria face, the fundamental challenges are exactly the same and growing by the day.

Rather than pouring more tax dollars down the drain, those dollars should be redirected towards hiring a city or provincial “czar” or “general” with proven abilities in the field of refugees.

This expert would be given the authority to take charge and do whatever is necessary to gain control of this deteriorating situation. As it stands, the dilemma is controlling us and inexperienced politicians stumbling about in search of an answer is not the solution.

R. G. Persson


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