Greater Victoria businesses are renowned for their generosity, and have always gone out of their way to help people in our community in need. However, our region is facing a crisis caused by failed policies and political posturing that has left too many neighbourhoods feeling unsafe.
From encampments in Beacon Hill Park and other public spaces, to temporary housing in former hotels, there is a growing concern that we are losing the safe community all of us depend on.
So what can we do to make a difference? As The Chamber, we will continue to advocate to all levels of government to invest in long-term solutions that go beyond temporary fixes. Housing alone is not the answer. There also needs to be readily available mental health and addiction services. The Chamber would like to see an expansion of the number of therapeutic recovery communities, which have the highest measurable success rates for treating people who want to end their dependence on drugs and alcohol.
As individuals, you can help by learning as much as you can about the issues that lead to homelessness and getting out to vote in coming elections. The City of Victoria is planning a new date for a by-election that was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you're not happy with decisions made by a council majority, make sure you know which councillors vote as a slate and who your alternatives are.
The Chamber has spoken out in the past about the dangers of populist politics, and will continue encouraging people to get out and vote to ensure better representation of our entire community.