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MLA brings attention to Cranbrook homelessness in legislature

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka questioned what he feels is an inadequate response from the B.C. government and drew attention to Cranbrook’s homeless population in the legislature.

This comes after the City of Cranbrook sent the province a letter pleading for financial support.

Shypitka said the B.C. government’s steps to address the issue have been inadequate.

“What Cranbrook has experienced is record homelessness crime and chaos caused by the Premier’s failed decriminalization and catch and release policies,” said Shypitka.

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“As a direct consequence of these provincial NDP policy failures, Cranbrook has incurred over $350,000 in staffing, security and clean-up costs, and has now sent the Premier the bill.”

Shypitka questioned Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon on how the province plans to move forward.

“Will the Premier take responsibility and cover the $350,000 spent by the City of Cranbrook due to his policy failures?”

In response, Kahlon mentioned a past project that was built in Cranbrook.

“The member (Tom Shypitka) knows, I’m sure he was there when the ribbon was cut on the new affordable housing that was opened in Cranbrook,” said Kahlon.

“They haven’t seen affordable housing in a long time, but we were the ones who delivered the affordable housing in that community.”

The Minister said the B.C. government will keep on funding housing projects but did not give any specific plans for Cranbrook.

“We’re going to continue working with Cranbrook, and we’re going to continue working with communities across the province to ensure we build the affordable housing that people need,” said Kahlon.

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