FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2022
VANCOUVER — In response to announcements regarding public safety and mental health from two other mayoral candidates ABC Vancouver released the following statement:
“Yesterday Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced plans to hire 25 counsellors and TEAM announced their plan to hire one commissioner for the Downtown Eastside to conduct an audit.
“It doesn’t appear to me that the other parties understand the scope of the problem in front of us.
“The ABC plan announced on August 15th that would result in the hiring of 100 new police officers and 100 new mental health nurses to enhance the Car 87/88 program and other VPD/Health authority partnered programs.
“Additionally, our plan will implement the usage of peer assisted care teams, establish a low barrier 24-hour recovery centre, shift the City’s social and supportive housing strategy to prioritize the quality of housing, increase the City of Vancouver’s social and supportive housing investments in line with the consumer price index every year, pilot housing to support youth and youth ageing out of care, and call for a region-wide mental health summit to work towards the establishment of a new mental health centre of excellence.
“Vancouverites now have a clear choice on public safety and wellness between the main candidates in this race — the ABC approach that will address both the short and long-term challenges or the approaches of candidates who don’t seem to realize that a problem exists.
“The Mayor’s plan to hire 25 counsellors is woefully inadequate, representing only a drop in the bucket of what is needed and ignores the advice of the Vancouver Police Department and the City’s own data.
“Additionally, the Mayor’s proposal to divert crisis calls away from 911 goes against guidance from both the BC Ministry of Mental Health and will only result in service duplication and slower response times.
“Staff at ECOMM are fully trained and have all the resources required to assess and determine an appropriate response to someone in crisis. They have the ability to directly connect those at risk with the Crisis Centre, Kids Help Phone, Youth in BC Chat, and Health Link. 911 staff at ECOMM have the ability to immediately determine the appropriate response from Fire, Health, or Paramedics and protocols to address less immediate dangers. “If you see someone in crisis please immediately call 911 as recommended and advised by the BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions (Source)”
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