Wednesday, May 7, 2008

David Chudnovsky's Statement in the Legislature on the Provincial Stands for Housing

Each day in the legislature 6 members are permitted to make short, "non-political" speeches on community matters. Below is David Chudnovsky's statement on "Stands for Housing" delivered on Monday, May 5.


D. Chudnovsky: On Saturday in communities across the province, British Columbians met on street corners to hold more than 75 Stands for Housing. These non-partisan events were organized and supported by groups and individuals that reflect our province's incredible diversity — the Citywide Housing Coalition; Anglican, United, Unitarian and Lutheran churches; teachers associations; the Carnegie action project; Streams of Justice; the B.C. Federation of Labour and the CLC; the North Shore Shalom Seekers; Renters Voice; Faith in Action; the Vancouver and Victoria Labour Councils; Community Advocates for Little Mountain; and many more.

Perhaps most significantly, the students council at Woodlands Secondary School in Nanaimo sponsored and organized one of the stands.

Most counts put the homeless numbers in B.C. conservatively at more than 10,000. That's about the population of Williams Lake. If tomorrow there were a flood or fire in Williams Lake and everybody lost their homes, we as a province would do something about it and quickly. Because we are decent and caring, British Columbians would make sure that those people had somewhere to live.

That's what we face. We have a population in our province equal to or greater than the population of Williams Lake with nowhere to live. We as legislators have a special responsibility when it comes to homelessness. British Columbians expect that we will do everything in our power to resolve the crisis and quickly.

I ask everyone on both sides of the House, all 79 of us, to commit ourselves to ending homelessness in our province. I thank all of those who took part in the Stands for Housing, who called our attention to the crisis and reminded us of our responsibility to find solutions.

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