July 10, 2017
A petition calling on the government to “make Polson Park safe again” is falling flat with elected officials.
The petition, which had more than 1,000 signatures as of Monday morning, suggests either fencing off the boardwalk area of the park where homeless people are camped, or “(placing) them in an area that isn’t making the signature park a safety issue for children.”
The City of Vernon is moving towards a bylaw that would restrict campers from erecting shelters between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., but the petitioners anticipate difficulty enforcing those rules. The petition suggests that if law enforcement doesn’t have the manpower to enforce the rules that individuals get bussed north of London Drugs.
Both Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund and Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster say they recognize people have concerns, but moving homeless people somewhere else is just not the answer.
“I don’t think that’s a solution for people who live on that side of town,” Mund says. “Moving them from one location to another is just moving the problem…. I don’t even know legally if we could do that — tell people ‘we’re taking you and moving you.’”