Sheila McDonnell
I’m very disturbed by the news that the RCMP plan to issue more tickets to homeless people busking and asking for money in the downtown area. How exactly is that supposed to help? Giving tickets to people who are already suffering from POVERTY will not help them stop being poor and hungry and homeless. This increases the debt and stress for people who can’t afford both shelter and food already. Are we trying to “teach them a lesson”? They already know it. Are you trying to keep them safe from being in dangerous traffic? Don’t you think sleeping in the bush and looking for a meal and a dry place is already dangerous? Are you keeping them safe from that? Don’t you know that being there is safer than wherever they came from? This is a strategy being practiced in the United States and is a main contributor to their enormous, shameful for-profit incarceration industry. I do not want to be that place. Far more useful to put the casino dollars that now go to hire extra RCMP officers who can then go and ticket the down and out into extra mental health and job skills staff, or a client-run drop-in centre/makers space. Make it BETTER, not Worse. It could be anyone of us any day.