This election campaign has seen a lot of talk about crime and public safety related to tent cities and the threat they pose to communities.

There’s been less talk about the root cause of the encampments — poverty.

“This whole system is falling apart because we’ve just frozen it in time where everything magically cost $375,” said Karen Ward, a community advocate who lives in the Downtown Eastside. That’s the amount single people on income and disability assistance get for rent in British Columbia.

“People can’t get out of poverty — where are you going to rent?”