Andrew Weaver responds to Megaphone Magazine’s Dying on the Streets report on homeless deaths in B.C.

April 26, 2017

VICTORIA B.C. – Today, Megaphone Magazine released its third edition of Dying on the Streets: Homeless Deaths in British Columbia, 2006-2015, which reports a 56% increase in the deaths of homeless people in 2015 over the previous year. Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, issued the following statement in response to these findings:

“We have a duty in our society to protect and support the most vulnerable among us. A province as wealthy as B.C. has the resources to tackle this issue head on. We are only missing the political will. In the B.C. Green Party platform, we have realistic policies that will address these issues directly. With an election in less than two weeks, British Columbians can take the future of this province into their own hands and choose a government that gives everyone the supports they need not only to survive, but to thrive. We fully support Megaphone’s recommendation to conduct a Death Review Panel to further investigate homeless deaths in B.C.”

The B.C. Green Party platform also proposes a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy, another of Megaphone’s recommendations. Elements of the B.C. Greens poverty reduction strategy in its 2017 platform include:

  • Investing up to $750 million per year to support the construction of approximately 4,000 new units of affordable housing per year;

  • Developing an immediate response to the fentanyl crisis based on successful programs in Europe that invest in treatment on demand, drug substitution, early-warning monitoring systems, and coordinated response;

  • Establishing a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions;

  • Initiating the transition to livable incomes with an increase in Persons with Disabilities, income assistance and shelter allowance rates;

  • Introducing a basic income to support youth ages 18-24 transitioning out of foster care.

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