Tax resistance to restore safety for all residents of Vancouver's Strathcona neighbourhood

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The Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver is vibrant, inclusive and compassionate. It draws strength and resiliency from the diversity of its community, who include Indigenous people, multi-generational Chinese-Canadians, new Canadians, young families, pensioners, artists, activists, and most recently unhoused residents of Camp K-T in Strathcona Park. Strathcona is a community where neighbours care for each other, and share a keen interest in community health and safety.
 
In recent years, the community's resiliency has been tested by a steady increase in personal crime (including verbal and physical assaults on children), property crime and public exposure to human and biohazardous waste. These issues have worsened dramatically in recent weeks and months, to the point that many of Strathcona's most vulnerable residents—including low-income seniors and children—feel too unsafe to use one of only two neighbourhood parks available to them.
 
More than ever, many Strathcona residents fear for their collective health and safety. They recognize their situation as a consequence of government inaction in the face of obvious public health and housing crises. They have been abandoned by their elected officials.
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We hereby state our support for Strathcona homeowners who intend to withhold property tax payments to the City of Vancouver until such time as municipal, provincial and federal governments act together or individually to meet their following three demands:
 
1.      A permanent end to displacement of Camp K-T by way of final relocation to sanctioned and safe refuges away from public park space where at least 300 unhoused local residents can find community, rest and the essential public services and utilities that they need and deserve.
 
2.      A firm commitment from one or more levels of government to build 4,000 units of true social housing across Vancouver on a high priority basis.
 
3.      A three-fold increase to the amount of sanitation and mental health support resources directed to restoring public health and safety in Strathcona.

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We have seen how elected officials have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we call upon them to apply the same force of will to the public health and housing crises plaguing all of Vancouver's neighbourhoods--Strathcona chief among them. A single 60-bed high-barrier navigation centre is not enough to turn this tide. We look forward to the day when the Strathcona community—which includes Camp K-T—finally receives its fair share of public health and safety resources.