Assistance to Shelter Act, an open letter to Mayor and Council

Dear Mayor and Council,

I am writing to support Councillor Ellen Woodsworth's motion on the Assistance to Shelter act to be debated by Council today.

Many people have expressed their opposition and concerns to me about this Act passed by the BC legislature. It is a heavy handed and blunt legislative response to an issue of human dignity and rights concerning homelessness and housing.

I have been working as hard as I can in Ottawa to pass Bill C304 for a National Housing Strategy. It has passed 2nd reading and is now under consideration in Committee.

The City of Vancouver has shown wonderful leadership on this issue, and I fully appreciate how hard it is for the City, with limited resources, to respond holistically to homelessness and the need for safe, affordable, and accessible housing.

I believe that implementing the Assistance to Shelter Act, will not resolve homelessness, and indeed will only set up an environment of conflict that creates possible harm and lack of choice.

Therefore, I hope City Council will support the motion on the basis it is a wise and prudent response to this legislation.

Sincerely,

Libby Davies, MP
Vancouver East