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Letter: Tree loss not good exchange for temporary cabins

I write with dismay at loss of many trees on the Trunk Road site of cabin housing for the homeless

Tree loss not good exchange for temporary cabins

Dear Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples and councillors:

I write with dismay at the loss of many trees on the Trunk Road site of cabin housing for the homeless.

Despite the city having an admirable tree-protection bylaw, Duncan council apparently saw fit to allow the sacrificing of irreplaceable trees to accommodate temporary housing for local homeless folks.

I fully support helping less fortunate folks, but surely mature tree loss logically takes precedence over additional, bland temporary housing.

Decades of local foot-dragging, talk, studies and ineffective solutions to our swelling homelessness crisis have sadly spawned a reactive, not proactive, answer to this complex, swelling situation. It affects taxpayers, city staff, police, volunteer agencies, medical workers, our environment — and, of course, homeless people themselves.

The long-term answer should not be more, nor larger, metal-cabin compounds.

I now urge council to consult the homeless, social workers, other councils, business leaders, the province, Ottawa — plus foreign government agencies if necessary — toward cogently workable, permanent solutions to such tragic homelessness without more tree loss.

Yours in smart housing solutions and ecology,

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan

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