Editorial: Add to the conversation

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

When it comes to homelessness, mental health issues and drug addiction, there is only so much a municipal government can do.

Though municipalities, large and small, are dealing with these problems on their streets, the fundamental mandate — and the money — to deal with them is securely in the hands of the provincial and federal governments.

Nonetheless, as the closest level of government to the citizens, city councils are most often asked what they are doing about the problem(s).

There is no magic wand here. Penticton and other communities don’t have the resources or authority to deal with these issues. There are many organisations working in the community, like 100 Homes Penticton, Pathways and more, but there is only so much they can do.

These are problems that will probably never be dealt with completely. As the mayor said, you can’t force someone to give up their addiction or take a living space that is being offered to them. It has to be their choice.

For that matter, no community really wants to admit they have these problems on their streets, and that goes double for those with tourism-driven economies.

City hall was already taking shots on social media and elsewhere over the issue. Which makes the call for a conversation, bringing all the agencies, support groups and the public together to find solutions a bold move on city hall’s part.

Solutions is the key word here. Jumping on to social media to trash talk the mayor or councillors, or complain that they should have been talking about this long ago, or questioning the motive isn’t helping.

Penticton, and all the other communities dealing with these problems need not just a plan to take to senior levels of government, but the visible support from the citizenry — voters — as they lobby provincial and federal governments for change.

Just Posted

Two types of civic engagement in PIB

Some voted in the byelection, others protested the polls, as Penticton Indian Band fissures continue

Penticton Vees look to carry offensive punch to Trail

Penticton Vees scored 28 goals in three games

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Penticton man fights to stay in Canada, keep life-saving health care

If Kris Reyes is denied permanent residency, the cost of his dialysis would run too high to keep up

Electrical box sparks fire in industrial zone

Penticton Fire Department responded to the electrical fire at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Most Read