City reached ‘turning point’ in dealing with Hastings Street encampment
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim says the encampment of homeless people on Hastings Street had reached a turning point in terms of rising fire risks and deteriorating public safety.
Sim, however, was less clear about when that point was reached and indicated taking action on the situation has been in the works since the ABC-party-majority council ran on a campaign of improving public safety, addiction and mental health issues.
“If you’re asking me personally, it’s been a goal of mine for years to make a meaningful impact on the Downtown Eastside,” Sim said. “The turning point could have been, you know, when there was the results of the election on Oct. 15.”
City officials laid out their case that conditions had become “untenable,” with a 17 per cent increase in outdoor fires, with four encampment residents injured in 10 fires, and a 27 per cent increase in assaults in the encampment, according to police.
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