What is occurring in downtown Campbell River is impacting many individuals, groups and businesses in ways that we find hard to comprehend or cope with. There is no denying this. I have spoken to and heard the real concerns and negative consequences of inappropriate and criminal behaviors and actions on peoples’ sense of safety and businesses’ bottom lines. None of us should feel that we have to deal with these impacts alone.
What we see, hear and feel are the results of more than four decades of failed policy and inaction by all levels of government. Social Service agencies, and good and compassionate people in all sectors have tried to intervene in the downward spiral of homelessness, poverty, racism, mental health and substance use disorders and hopelessness.
There will be no quick fixes. There will be no silver bullet. And no single entity can do everything that needs to be done. We must have people at the council table to represent and voice different views, different experiences and varying levels of knowledge in many disciplines. This is how we create a common vision to serve the most people. This is how we reach across divides to create safe spaces for dialogue. This is how we create connection with each other; with the residents – housed and unhoused; with professionals and lay people; and with different levels of government to begin taking action.
I believe when we have a common vision and goal, and a solid plan that addresses many or all of the issues, people will come forward to help us implement it.
I have been privileged to have a role as a voice for marginalized and equity-seeking people with their permission. I am passionate about ensuring that people have a say in the decisions that affect them. This is one of the reasons I am running for council. This doesn’t mean I don’t or won’t listen to everyone. This doesn’t mean I won’t consider others’ needs and wants. This does mean that council decisions will reflect more of the people who call Campbell River home than it has.