Treatment before housing

Re. Rebecca Thiessen’s letter Defends Tory leader (Castanet, June 1)

Was (Conservative Leader Pierre) Pollievre right or wrong to air Kelowna’s “street city” with the world?

I agree with Rebecca Thiessen that he wasn’t picking on Kelowna, just highlighting this problem.

Interestingly enough, (a recent) Castanet’s poll raised the issue of the B.C. government forcing home-building

on municipalities, whether they want it or not. Of course, (B.C. Premier) David Eby strongly supports more and better housing for the homeless, which likely underlies his government’s forcing more housing growth.

When it comes to homelessness, it seems politicians from federal, provincial and local governments are missing the real problems and turning a blind eye to them.

The vast majority of the homeless population are either suffering from mental health issues or are addicted to various drugs and until those issues are properly dealt with, housing is not the real problem and building facilities for the homeless population is not the answer to what is actually needed.

The federal government needs to tell the Supreme Court of Canada people with mental health issues do not have the capacity to make decisions about their medication treatments. A decision by the Supreme Court way back in the 1990 resulted in the closure of institutions where medications could no longer be forced on patients and the resulting street population of those with mental health issues. The decision needs to be overturned so those with mental health issues can be properly treated and looked after for their own good.

Instead of spending all the money currently being spent on drug issues, all the emergency responses to overdoses which tie up so much of our health care resources, not to mention the cost to our society of the criminal activity related to drug use, do something that will help those suffering with addictions, rather than provide “safe” sites, “safe” drugs and “safe” accessories.

How about spending those millions of dollars on building and providing the help that is actually needed, including rehabilitation clinics and facilities.

Does anyone remember the Four Pillars (initiative) from years ago when problematic drug addiction was starting to make the news? That was in 2004 and rehabilitation was one of those four pillars.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different outcome. Looking at some of the things we are doing these days, that may be the case.

Malcolm Roberts, Kelowna.

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