Saskatchewan government giving First Nations tickets to no where

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quizzical
Saskatchewan government giving First Nations tickets to no where
jerrym

First Nations leader calls Saskatchewan homeless that were went to British Columbia "internal refugees".

 

Quote:

Charles Neil-Curly and Jeremy Roy received greetings fit for a Syrian refugee when they hopped off a Greyhound bus in Vancouver this week: TV cameras, a smiling politician, even job offers.

The two Saskatchewan residents might well have thought they'd landed in Disneyland as opposed to British Columbia. That's not the way we normally welcome homeless aboriginal men. ...

No — the way it usually works is a sad trudge into the poverty of the Downtown Eastside, followed by a search for shelter, services and sustenance as part of a struggling population which is nearly invisible to most people.

It's a pattern only too familiar to Ernie Crey, the president of the Northwest Indigenous Council and ALIVE, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of aboriginal people in Vancouver. ...

Crey says Canadians should open their hearts to Syrians. After all, they're desperate people fleeing circumstances beyond their control. But why not view the homeless through a similar lens? "I'm very much alive to the fact that there are internal Canadian refugees. And many of them are aboriginals especially men," Crey says. "They're throw-away people. They can damn well look after themselves. And no one's going to be greeting them anywhere to help them do anything." ...

But neither had any kind of plan in place for arrival in B.C., which has led the ministry responsible for sending them out west to promise a review.

It was only the homeless shelter manager's concerns, relayed by media, which ensured the men a warm welcome as they stepped off the bus.  ...

Neil-Curly and Roy arrived just in time for Vancouver's homeless count. And according to last year's figures, they'll fit right in. In 2015, aboriginal people represented 32 per cent of the homeless population as opposed to 2.5 per cent of the city's general population. Nearly three quarters are men. And 81 per cent have one or more health conditions. ...

By all accounts, the situation is an anomaly. Don McTavish, the director of residential services for Victoria's Cool Aid Society, says homeless people don't usually show up from out of province without a plan. Agencies communicate with each other.

He says he has also been struck by the outpouring of support for Syrians: church organizations and groups of friends banding together to sponsor families. ...

McTavish wonders what difference it might make in the life of one homeless person to have the same kind of support network dedicated to their needs alone.  ...

"Why can't we do that for our folks here that are kind of living in refugee-like conditions, in tents in a park that have to be picked up and moved every morning?" he asks.  "Whose health is declining? Whose life expectancy is 18 years less than the general population?" ...

The Saskatchewan government says we're not returning to the days when former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein gave welfare recipients one-way passes to B.C. At the same time, the homeless shelter the two men left has warned that provincial cuts may cause it to close. So not a policy per se, but the ripple effect of budgetary decisions. ...

Crey believes intense attention on the two men's unfortunate situation has allowed the public to see them as individuals, as opposed to part of the mass of 'internal refugees' that are Canada's homeless. He thinks people see external refugees as victims of circumstance, whereas they tend to attribute the suffering of aboriginal homeless people to moral failure: "They are poor and suffer because they made the wrong choices."

The two Saskatchewan men arrived in Vancouver just as the city released a report on another perennial problem: empty homes. One in 10 Vancouver condos sits vacant.  The city has promised to tackle both empty condos and homelessness.  Perhaps we could kill two birds with one stone. Test the limits of our empathy for 'internal refugees' by offering empty condos to the homeless. Which problem would be solved first?

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/a-greeting-fit-for-a-syri...

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm certainly not suggesting that any municipality should be permitted to hand someone a one-way ticket they don't want, to somewhere they don't want to be, and say "get while the gettin's good".

But didn't both of these men, in fact, ask for this ticket?

quizzical

lol, if you call no choice asking.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
lol, if you call no choice asking.

From your link:

Quote:
He said he asked Social Services for a bus ticket to British Columbia after he heard another man at the shelter request and be given a ticket to Victoria

I definitely call asking, asking.

quizzical

they were denied housing at the shelter they had no options.