French yellow vest protesters set fires along a march route through Paris on Saturday to drive home a message to a government they see as out of touch with the problems of the poor — rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn’t the only problem France needs to solve.

Like the high-visibility vests the protesters wear, the scattered small fires in Paris appeared to be a collective plea to the government to “look at me — I need help too!”

Police fired water cannon and sprayed tear gas to try to control radical elements on the margins of the largely peaceful march, one of several actions around Paris and other French cities.

In 1995, Chicago suffered a violent heat wave that resulted in the deaths of over 700 citizens. Many were seniors, African American and living in public housing. Reports out that many of the seniors who died were isolated from their family and community and that others felt imprisoned in their home, fearful of venturing out into their neighbourhood, shocked North America.

In 2003, eight years after the Chicago catastrophe, countries in western Europe experienced a heat wave that resulted in 27,000 dead: 15,000 deaths in France, between 4,000 and 8,000 in Italy, 1,300 in Portugal, and 2,000 in Britain. Many were seniors. Many were poor.

In both situations, political leadership initially denied the extent of the problem and minimized the risk to vulnerable populations…

Dueling rallies in Maple Ridge Sunday, both centered around where people living in the city’s homeless camps should go.

Hundreds packed Memorial Park demanding the province rethink plans to expand modular housing in parts of the city. “Our city, our choice,” was their rallying cry.

Just a few blocks away, supporters and residents of the Anita Place Tent City held their own rally, calling for compassion and more modular housing units and low-income housing options in the city. “Homes not hate” was their chant of choice.

A Lower Mainland social assistance office is reportedly making changes to how it deals with those waiting to access its services after being criticized for keeping many waiting outside.

Pastor Jesse Wegenast, harm reduction co-ordinator with The 5 and 2 Ministries in Abbotsford, says for about a year the city’s office for the B.C. Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction would only allow a handful of people in the office at a time, forcing the remainder to wait outside, a practice he says is indicative of how society treats those in poverty or homelessness.

The closure of Penticton’s emergency winter shelters appears to have resulted in an increase in social issues and crime downtown.

Both the City of Penticton and Penticton RCMP report a spike in anti-social behaviours following the closure of the city’s emergency shelters on the last weekend in March.

Penticton RCMP spokesperson Const. James Grandy said in an email last week the emergency shelter closings left many of the homeless on the street with nowhere to go.

The federal Liberals are using their omnibus budget bill to legislate a “right to housing” in Canada, a pledge advocates worry could fall short of being the historic step the government wants without a few parliamentary tweaks before summer.

The budget bill would set into law rules for the Liberals’ 10-year national housing strategy, now valued at more than $55 billion, impose those rules on future governments and create two new oversight bodies meant to make sure the spending reduces homelessness.

The Mayor of Maple Ridge is under fire for saying homeless people are “basically raping and pillaging” his community.

Mike Morden is doubling down on the controversial comments he made in an interview posted to YouTube on Apr. 5.

“People coming here to carry on doing drugs and basically raping and pillaging all of our community and businesses, and that’s got to stop,” he says.