Editorial: Outside help

The City of Terrace and the Ksan House Society needs assistance from the provincial government in getting with a wet shelter

It’s pretty clear by now that the City of Terrace and the Ksan House Society require outside help in dealing with the issue of providing an extreme weather shelter.

The city has boxed itself into a political corner through council’s denial, albeit by a 4-3 vote, of a rezoning application by the Ksan House Society to develop an extreme weather shelter (popularly called a ‘damp’ shelter) in an empty office building downtown on Lazelle Ave.

In doing so it set a precedent whereby any future rezoning application, downtown or not, would likely fail for the same reasons council gave in denying the one from Ksan.

And Ksan itself would be hard-pressed to come up with a new proposal given its limited resources and the immense amount of time this issue deserves.

The help should come from the province which has the ultimate responsibility for housing. By acting as a good faith direct champion, or even as an intermediary, the province might persuade council to look more kindly on a wet shelter.

It would also relieve the city, as any city councillor will tell you, of dealing with an issue over which it has no money to address as well as dealing with an issue that is not within its governing mandate.

And in this specific circumstance, with far more resources at its disposal, the province shouldn’t be placing Ksan in the time-consuming position of having to act as its housing agent.