The provincial government is looking to buy or lease another hotel or vacant residential building in Greater Victoria to house hundreds of people without homes before the end of March, says B.C.’s attorney general.

“We’re looking at any opportunities to get people inside as quickly as we can, which is the over-arching goal,” David Eby, who is also the minister responsible for housing, told the Times Colonist. “And it may look like, if there are opportunities to do so, acquiring properties with minimal renovations that are appropriate for people to live in.”

“My life was pretty hectic. I was living on the streets, couch-surfing, [using] shelters.”

Robert Macgillivary, 26, has been using the Ally Centre of Cape Breton for years. He doesn’t remember how long.

Macgillivary thinks a lack of housing is contributing to the problem of homelessness in the region. He says a lot of students take up what rental properties there are available.

“We only have so much [housing] here. I call it depression island, really… Cape Breton Island.”

He visits local charity Loaves & Fishes for a meal but says if that meal is missed, it can be hard to find one elsewhere.

With shelters overcapacity, Quebec’s homeless population is being left in the cold—past COVID-19 curfew.

Some of Montreal’s homeless population and advocates are calling the curfew unfair for the marginalized and at-risk communities.

The province has said Montreal’s nearly 4,000 homeless people could abide by the 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. curfew by going to shelters, but advocates say there’s just not enough room.

“I really want the government to help, putting us through instead of giving us tickets,” said Annisee, a client at The Open Door shelter.

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit CERB put cash in people’s hands, quickly, when COVID-19 hit. It was a smart and remarkable achievement. It looked like the beginnings of a basic income — but it wasn’t quite. It left out people who needed it. It got complicated with conditions, changes, interactions with other emergency benefits, and with provincial and territorial regimes. It confused applicants and recipients as their circumstances changed.

Now, CERB repayment demands are causing hardship, and while amnesty is needed that’s only a temporary reprieve, for some. The pandemic’s viral and economic toll is still rising. Long-standing inequalities and poverty are deepening and there’s no vaccine for that. If Canada hopes to withstand this crisis and “build back better” we need concrete government action on the path to a basic income. The human consequences of inaction are almost unthinkable.

Steps are underway to dismantle a homeless camp in Vernon’s Polson Park.

“This looks like an encampment with tents and tarps, set up right along the creek,” Coun. Kari Gares said.

The new 37th Street shelter operated by Turning Points Collaborative has 80 beds, but people are still being turned away.

“It’s full every night and people are being turned away,” Coun. Kelly Fehr said. “I would guess there are about 20 or so.”

A COVID-19 outbreak at an Ottawa women’s shelter was linked to two long-term care workers who were staying at the facility because their income couldn’t cover their rent, an independent commission has heard.

Dr. Jeff Turnbull, the medical director of Ottawa Inner City Health, described the situation in his testimony before the Long Term Care COVID-19 Commission in mid-December. The commission’s hearings aren’t open to the public but transcripts are typically posted online days later.

Turnbull recalled a massive rush to sanitize shelters, train staff on COVID-19 protocols and obtain personal protective equipment as the pandemic tightened its grip on the province last winter, noting the system did not have a pre-existing plan to respond to a crisis of this nature.

City council is asking us to help figure out what to do about homelessness in Greater Sudbury. The city’s website shows an embarrassment of riches when it comes to studies done on the subject of homelessness. There are seven reports listed from 2000 to 2003. Did they learn nothing from these reports?

What I learned just from looking at the list is that homelessness is not new. So, why does the city treat it like it’s an aberration?