November 9, 2015 – Christy Clark deliberately ignoring homelessness

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maple_ridge_tent_cityVICTORIA— Christy Clark’s government has turned their backs on B.C.’s homeless population by ending the collection of data on the number of people being turned away from shelters, says David Eby, the New Democrat spokesperson for housing.

“Christy Clark isn’t there for the people who need her the most. As much as she would like to delete this data and turn a blind eye, homelessness is not going away,” said Eby.

Through a Freedom of Information request, Eby discovered that B.C. Housing stopped collecting data on shelter turnaways in November 2014. The last data that was made available – from November 2013 to November 2014 – showed that shelters across the province are having to turn people away in alarmingly high numbers.

“The shelter turnaway data we obtained from B.C. Housing shows that suburban and northern communities are facing a growing crisis,” said Eby. “Provincially, there were more than 50,000 instances where someone with nowhere to turn tried to get into a shelter, but was told it was full.”

“When Christy Clark’s government decided to stop collecting data on shelter turnaways, they proved to British Columbians that housing is not a priority for their government,” said Eby. “Christy Clark is taking a page out of the federal Conservative playbook: if you stop collecting data, then it is easier to pretend that the problem doesn’t exist.”

New Democrats are calling on Christy Clark’s government to immediately reverse their decision and to start collecting data on shelter turnaways again so that we can ensure we provide services where they are needed the most.