Volunteers haul trash up a steep incline from a Sweltzer Creek homeless camp under the Vedder River bridge on Jan. 29, 2023. (Streams Foundations Canada)

LETTER: Too much political inaction dealing with illegal encampments on Chilliwack rivers

We need to see direct actions by all politicians now

I applaud the recent letter to The Progress by Ernie Plett (“Vedder River homeless mess is infuriating” Jan. 27, 2023).

In it he regrets the deplorable conditions found at the Vedder River encampment and he gave credit to the volunteers who worked to clean up the mess.

He called out our MP Mark Strahl for his inaction in marshalling the proper authorities to alleviate this ongoing problem. The electorate of Chilliwack-Hope has not been overwhelmed by the service or involvement of this MP, however one should assume that he has the phone number of the mayor of Chilliwack who administrates the city and holds the primary jurisdiction.

Mr. Strahl likewise could have spoken to the two sitting MLAs who represent us.

Has there been any action taken by these politicians to directly dismantle this camp?

Further, Mr. Plett is correct in naming jurisdictions that bear responsibility for this fiasco.

What Mr. Plett is really highlighting is the abject failure of every jurisdiction.

In Canada, there seems to be some disconnect between jurisdictions which leads to our leaders playing the blame game. Perhaps it is time for us to hold these politicians’ feet to the fire at election time.

Decrying the lack of leadership by our elected representatives is not going to solve the problem.

It seems that the current crop isn’t up to the task at all levels. We need to see direct actions by all of them now.

Wayne Underhill


• Send your letter to the editor via email to editor@theprogress.com. Please include your first and last name, address, and phone number.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack Progress Letters

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