Don’t surrender your parks to illegal activity, writer says

Chilliwack community activist has some advice for others

Don’t surrender your parks to illegal activity, writer says

We are all weary of the “homeless/crack heads” taking over our public spaces, no more than us, that back onto Edward’s Park, and got to watch a ‘crack show’ for over a month.

Most people don’t know, that it was the BC Supreme Court ruling in October 2016, that allowed “homeless” to sleep in public parks.

In the summer of 2017, our children’s park, Edward’s Park, was visited by a handful of “homeless” and Griffin Security was called to move them along, and regular childhood activity would happen in the day time, in the children’s park because the City ruled a bylaw, that only allowed ‘homeless’ to camp from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Sounds reasonable, but in reality, most homeless took two, if not three hours to move after the time they were supposed to move; this was our smallest problem.

Morphing to 2018, the ‘homeless’/crackheads took over our park, they found out that if they were told to move at 8 a.m., there was no force to move them out, because, they are using the park, much like myself, or you, sitting in a lawn chair, reading a book, with an umbrella, and they won, kicking them out would be a discrimination.

Before you get angry at this injustice, hear me out, because we all need to get past angry, and get highly proactive to fight this cancer, taking over our society, our neighbourhoods, our well being.

There is no way I wanted to do this, but this, I had to do.

No. 1: Not all homeless people are crack addicts, and the truly homeless have my compassion, my support, my love, that they get back on their feet and are not marginalized, because of a crazy economy that makes some really, really, rich at the expense of others. There was one camp on our park that was legitimately, homeless, set up tent and took down tent, as per the City bylaws, and they left permanently, because of the ‘crack heads’ that invaded our neighbourhood park, and made it uncomfortable for them.

No. 2: All politicians want to stay neutral, for their base. I am not a politician. I am a new resident to DT Chilliwack, investing all of my resources into this community, by choice, and I simply cannot allow this degradation to happen.

I want you to know two things: who ever gets elected in the next city council will be faced with this gridlock of a problem, that the BC Supreme Court ruled ‘homeless people’ can legally sleep in city public parks, and secondly, getting rid of this ‘problem’ will only happen by your personal involvement.

When we started to see the park being taken over, there was a learning curve, that our involvement of calling city bylaw, Griffin Security, depending what time of day it was, relentlessly, and I mean relentlessly, for over a month…we brought out the binoculars to take down license plate numbers and make of car of blatant drug deals in mid day, in a children’s park.

If it took a thousand calls, and a thousand hours of being interrupted from my life, to make this happen, I and all my neighbours, would do it again, for the result we have: A children’s park, built, and funded by taxpayers, in the downtown that is trying to revitalize.

Because of the BC Supreme Court’s ruling, your civil leaders, no matter, who they are, are tied. It is up to us as citizens, to call in in every illegal activity.

I know, this sucks, but do it anyway, I, and my neighbours did, and Edward’s Park is free of crack heads pretending to be homeless.

Anita Unger,

Chilliwack