How low will NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton go?
That’s the question after Anton attacked Mayor Gregor Robertson for a social housing model that the NPA set up and she voted in favour for.
Over the past weekend Anton claimed that Vision Vancouver is responsible for the way new social housing units are allocated in Vancouver, claiming the allocation has failed to reduce homelessness.
But Anton is suffering from selective memory loss.
Under an agreement with the Province made by the Sam Sullivan NPA Council and supported by Anton, all unit allocations are made by the Provincially run BC Housing Office.
The reasons for that are two-fold: BC Housing put up the majority of the money for construction and operation while the city put up the land, and BC Housing has the infrastructure to connect those in need of housing with actual available units.
Here’s a link to NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan’s website detailing the city’s collaboration with BC Housing while Anton was on council. http://www.samsullivan.ca/2006/11/council-moves-forward-on-actio
Anton knows this. She signed on to it and now she’s hoping no one examines her duplicity.
There’s another thing Anton knows. Just because someone isn’t actually sleeping on the streets doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be housed in units meant to reduce homelessness.
Anyone remotely familiar with mental health and addiction knows that there is a revolving door between the street, shelters and hospital wards. To see it in action visit the emergency ward at St. Paul’s after midnight on a Saturday night.
Someone on the streets who is admitted to hospital isn’t labeled homeless when they are released. But they aren’t about to go out and rent an apartment or buy a $700,000 condo. But they are likely to become homeless again. That is unless a social housing unit was made available to them.
Anton knows how this works. She’s just choosing to forget what she knows to serve her political purpose
And what’s that purpose? To attack a Vision homeless program that is working. For the first time in a decade there are fewer homeless people in Vancouver because there are more shelter beds and more housing units.
This is only the latest of a series of extreme flip-flops. Anton’s flip-flopped on bike lanes, on casino expansion, on the NPA’s Olympic Village disaster and now on homelessness.
Is there anything left that Anton believes in? With this record who can trust a thing she says?