Their tactics may be controversial but protesters who rallied in Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam last week in support of local homeless people are raising issues that need to be addressed.

Every person counts and while the Tri-Cities may have a relatively small number of homeless people — compared to other cities, such as Surrey, Langley and Vancouver, which have two to 10 times the number of people without homes, according to the 2017 count — it’s still important to meet their complex needs.

Over the last several months the Steering Committee for PFIB has been wrestling with what to do next to contribute to the work that needs to be done now in the current political, economic and social environment. We have made the difficult decision that PFIB is not the vehicle for our commitment to building power and changing the thinking, policies and programs that another regressive and oppressive government is forcing on people throughout Ontario.

We are going to wrap up PFIB.

The Saint Lawrence Centre will continue to search for a new home after announcing it would not be able to move into its prospective location.

The centre had partnered with Northreach—previously known as HIV North— to submit an application with the city in order to occupy the former Rising Above Furniture Store.

In a Facebook post, Project Lead Jared Gossen explained that this was no longer possible due to “significant fears from surrounding businesses.”

A Port Coquitlam homeless man says police and bylaw officers routinely seize his belongings and are trying to push people like him out of the community.

Ross Brydon has lived on the streets for more than 15 years and currently resides in a tent along the Coquitlam River. He said it is not uncommon for homeless people like him to return to their camps to find all of their possessions gone and a card for 1-800-GOT-JUNK left behind.

“I don’t understand the thinking behind it,” he said. “Where does it help to take someone’s possessions? Anyone that hopes to assimilate back into society, they are not going to do it by having bylaws [officers] seize their belongings.”

The B.C. government is changing policy in a bid to help break the cycle of poverty and build a future for vulnerable citizens.

The policy changes include ending penalties for families providing room and board to a family member and decreasing the work search from five to three weeks. Access to the identification supplement will be expanded, as will access to the application process for Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers programs. This is also due to be simplified. As part of the raft of changes the “transient” client category will be removed, as will the $10,000 asset limit on a primary vehicle. Asset limits for people on income assistance will be increased and the moving supplement for people to move anywhere in B.C. will be developed.

Advocates who work with Montreal’s homeless say the deaths of 12 people since December is related to the closing of a downtown shelter.

“Everything that we said was going to happen when we moved has happened,” said Open Door intervention worker John Tessier.

The Open Door was located near Cabot Square, a park in downtown Montreal and a gathering spot for the city’s homeless.

It was the city’s only shelter willing to accept clients who were intoxicated, as well as the only one to welcome pets.

We’re now 10 years on from the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Or, as our national mythology puts it, 10 years since Canada breathed a deep sigh of relief as the crisis mostly grazed our economy and financial system.

Since 2008, we’ve had 10 years of congratulatory back-patting over our system of financial regulation, 10 years of low inflation and low interest rates, 10 years of periodically oil-driven economic growth—and 10 years of exploding housing prices, of renovictions and demovictions, of working people pushed out of some cities and a real estate investment bonanza for the homegrown and foreign rich.