Internal government documents show the B.C. government is drafting legislation to force homeless people into emergency shelters during extreme winter weather, according to the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
Vancouver does not have "extreme winter weather", we have snowfall for a few days of the year and it does not amount to much. This is just another effort to sweep the problem of homelessness under the rug in time for the wonderful gongshow that is the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
Instead of legislating the problem away (and criminalizing poverty and homelessness in the process), the BC Liberals should open the mental care facilities that they closed that made most of these people homeless in the first place. Most of these people are not fit to live on the streets, nor are they capable of sustaining a job to keep them off the streets.
Time and time again it has been proven that by housing and taking care of these individuals that our police services could be put to better use, property crime would go down and society as a whole would be better off. Policing service is a lot more expensive for these individuals than taking care of them in proper facilities.
By passing a law to force homeless indoors during a cold snap, the BC Liberals are effectively making it so that homeless persons will hide in every knook and cranny they can find. This will prevent caregivers from finding them, and will ultimately lead to more deaths related to exposure. Who wants to go to jail, even if you're homeless?
On a related note, I think it would be possible to get more homeless to use shelters if they had a way to lock/tag their belongings so that they would not be stolen. Most homeless people seem to have a cart or other ways to carry their possessions which a lot of shelters will not deal with.
Oh well, I guess we should just sweep them under the rug for the Olympics, eh?