For Immediate Release
August 21, 2019
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Today’s eviction of the tent city at Oppenheimer Park will leave some residents without a safe place to sleep. Vancouver’s Fire and Police departments have warned that Oppenheimer Park has long been unsafe for residents and the community at large. The response so far from all levels of government has fallen short of tackling the full scope of the issue.
“The situation at Oppenheimer Park is a crisis for our East Van community,” said Bridget Burns, Green Party candidate for Vancouver East.
“It is a result of decades of systemic failure and inadequate housing, addiction, and poverty reduction policies from all levels of government, in particular the federal government.
“Many people are living there because they have no other viable option or because conditions in single-room occupancy units can be worse than the park. The fact that the tent city exists is an indication that policies and governments have failed the people they are meant to serve.
“Housing is a human right. Affordable housing is essential for a just society. Greens know this and if we hold the balance of power after this fall’s election we will ensure that urgent action is taken to ensure all members of our community, especially the most vulnerable, have access to safe and affordable places to live.
“People should not have resort to living in our public parks and greenspaces. Canada is not a poor country; we need to spend the money necessary to house those who need it and ensure every neighbourhood has parks for its residents to enjoy.
“The status quo isn’t working. I keep hearing elected officials speak of the housing crisis, the opioid epidemic, and ground zero. But I have yet to see the kind of urgent action from the federal government you’d expect this type of language to evoke."
When elected to represent Vancouver East in Parliament, Bridget will work with Green MPs and across party lines to take immediate action on implementing Green Party solutions such as guaranteed basic income, retrofitting existing housing, and securing immediate funding for more co-ops, purpose-built rentals, and the services needed to address this crisis.
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