City council has decided to go back to the drawing board with regards to its social services bylaw.
Although this delays any action being taken to resolve the “situation” in downtown Campbell River, it’s probably a prudent step to take. The proposed bylaw was going to divert the delivery of social services and facilities away from the downtown core, namely the Shopper’s Row area.
The plan was well-intentioned but it just moved the problem onto somebody else’s street, although, perhaps everybody bearing their share of the problem would be most fair. As for eliminating the problem – namely addiction, homelessness arising from it and inappropriate behaviour on the street – well, most of that is beyond the city’s power, although it bears the brunt of the problem and is the entity expected to fix it by those less-knowledgeable about the division of responsibilities between various levels of government. The province should be doing more to tackle this. Taking another stab at a plan of action is warranted and this time it has to be a comprehensive all-inclusive consultation that attempts to meet the needs of all involved. If Campbell River is able to come up with a plan that cleans up downtown, makes the streets safe for everybody and treats those in need with compassion and understanding, it will be groundbreaking. But well worth it.