I have been trying to catch Federal election coverage between my own municipal election events and I have to tell you about how disappointed I am that the homelessness crisis has not been an issue for Federal candidates.
Here in Vancouver homelessness and affordable housing is an issue that is very close to many of us. Current figures show that the number of known homeless in Vancouver is almost 3000 people and the number of people on the street could triple by 2010.
Homelessness is not an issue that only affects the Downtown East Side. About 600 000 people in BC have less than adequate or suitable housing and spend more than 30 percent of their income on accommodations. Far too many Canadians are a paycheque away from the street. These numbers are alarming and I am dismayed that Federal candidates have chosen to ignore it in favour of issues that have, for whatever reason, risen higher in public opinion polls.
COPE will work hard for a Vancouver for everyone and ending homelessness is our priority. To do this we need to have all levels of government involved and that is why I am urging you to please challenge candidates and party leaders.