Time to focus on refugees and housing the homeless

Victoria resident thinks premier's position on refugees too little too late

I am delighted to see the premier take a positive position on the Syrian refugee crisis. Sadly it is too little far too late. Courageous men and women have been struggling for years to reach our shores and yet it wasn’t until a major tragedy shocked the world that the free nations acted. Shame!

Far from being a drain on resources, refugees are a great asset. They create an immediate stimulus to the economy. Over time the new energy and skills they bring with them create even more economic stimulus and a larger tax base to provide increased services to all. Canada could accommodate 10 million newcomers without denting our land base or resources.

What conscience-awakening tragedy will it take before all levels of government stop the mind-numbing talk about ending the disgrace of our own homelessness problem here in one of the most affluent countries on earth? These are not strangers. These are our own sons and daughters, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and yes perhaps for some even a mother or a father.

Our civic governments squander countless thousands on pop-up toilets and rainbow crosswalks and authorize scandalous overages of millions of dollars on an ill-conceived bridge project. The total of all these needless expenditures, if applied to addressing the needs of the homeless, would have seen the majority of these less fortunate individuals adequately housed and some at least on the road to a new and productive beginning.

Why must we wait until another dead body shocks our social conscience before we stop talking and act?

Raym Forbes

Victoria