DVBA calls for rebalance between compassion and enforcement downtown


Victoria's business community says a lot of attention has been focused on the homeless in Victoria lately -- but Downtown Victoria Business Association Executive Director Jeff Bray says a shift in focus is needed.

Bray says while the homeless do need attention -- other segments of the population also need to be taken care of:

"You  know there is concern about the level of street disorder. And our view is that we've put a lot of attention into this particular population, and I'm not even saying that's not justified. But
we have a while other population of people who live downtown, they are residents, the businesses that are struggling to survive, their employees struggling to get enough hours to be able to pay their rent, and I think we need to shift the focus to that broader population."

Bray says there are serious drug and mental health issues that need to be addressed -- and the DVBA is concerned that not enough action is being taken to deal with the behaviours that are making people feel unsafe.

He calls for a "rebalancing between compassion and enforcement."