If Victoria, British Columbia is an example of where Canada is headed then we are all in deep trouble. Madam Justice Carol Ross, in her infinite [lack of] wisdom, threw out a city bylaw that restricted camping in public places. Now roving gangs of young "homeless" kids, many "homeless" by choice, apparently have the right to pitch tents wherever and whenever they want. You can read more about this Kafka-like decision here. One thing in the story that is not correct is that there are enough shelter beds in Victoria. These folks just don't want to sleep there.
This issue was being discussed on Roy Green's show on the Corus network. I sent the host this note:
Roy, As someone who lived in Victoria for 4 years [1997 - 2001] I have a pretty good handle on what is occurring there. Victoria, with its relatively warm weather, is a magnet for young people from across Canada to move out to. After arriving they generally have two lifestyle options:
- Get a low paying job or two in tourism and live in shared accommodations with other kindred souls.
- Live the drug-laden hippie lifestyle on the streets, camping out all day on Douglas Street, begging for money from tourists.