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