I was happy to vote for a recent Vancouver city council resolution that affirmed “a commitment to progressive animal welfare” as part of the city’s ethical purchasing policies. It passed unanimously.

But it got me thinking about applying the same standards to human beings, especially those who happen to be homeless.

The animal rights policy, moved by Councillor Pete Fry, promises the city will respect “Five Freedoms” identified by the BC SPCA, Humane Canada and the Canadian Medical Veterinary Association: freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst; freedom from fear and distress; freedom from physical and thermal discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; and freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.

Indigenous youth are over-represented among homeless youth in Kamloops, a report released Thursday reveals.

A Way Home Kamloops executive director Katherine McParland, one of several community partners involved, said some sub-populations are more at risk of youth homelessness.

Of 136 homeless youth counted last year, 56 per cent of them Identified as indigenous.

The Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy committee has released its 2018 to 2028 strategy to attack poverty in the Region of Peel.

The document contains a number of interesting statistics describing the struggles some Peel families face.

12.8 per cent are living in poverty

Child care is more than $20,000 a year

Children in Peel are not well-off

48 per cent of the employed in Peel work part of the year, or part time.

A developer wants the City of Vancouver to change a condition in the relocation of an established downtown shelter.

The homeless men’s shelter has been operating since 1958, and it will be displaced by a 29-storey tower to be constructed by Amacon Development.

As part of the terms for the development, Amacon has agreed to find a replacement site that will be good for 10 years.

However, a staff report to council indicates that the developer has been “unable to secure” a new place it found for a full 10-year period.

“They have negotiated an agreement to lease the new site for a minimum of seven years, with an option to renew at the owner’s discretion for an additional three years,” according to the report included in council’s agenda Tuesday.

There is no single neoliberal budgetary framework that has guided every single state, other than an underlying faith in ‘expansionary austerity’ – fiscal restraint to encourage business investment. After the ‘shock therapy’ of the initial Harris budgets in the mid-90s, Ontario fiscal policy has been focused on budgetary balance and total debt reduction. Ontario budgetary practice has been to keep nominal growth in spending below the combined rate of growth in inflation and output to steadily reduce the size of government as a portion of the provincial economy. As a result, Ontario sits last among the provinces in per capita government expenditures and more than $2000 below the average for the rest of Canada.

A social agency says east London is facing a homeless crisis so severe, it needs city council to jump in now with money to bring some relief.

While the rest of the city also is caught in the two-fisted grip of homelessness and housing market prices beyond the reach of many, the move by the Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre to step out of the queue and demand action for Hamilton Road is a first.

Margaret Wills, executive director of the agency, said she feels helpless to address Londoners’ struggles with housing.

A Moncton charity is spending about $1 million to open a new, 120-bed homeless shelter by the fall in the city’s downtown with support services on site that it hopes will help reduce homelessness.

Maison Nazareth Inc., which operates one of two existing shelters in Moncton, purchased 75 Albert St. last month for $775,000. It received $480,000 in joint federal and provincial funding.

Jean Dubé, executive director of Maison Nazareth, said it expects to partly open the new shelter in August and have it fully operational by the fall.