As Canada prepares to observe its first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Federal Court has dismissed Ottawa’s appeals of two human rights tribunal rulings concerning First Nations child welfare compensation and protection.

“It’s a complete win for children and for the survivors of residential schools,” said Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society..

“It was a repudiation of all of the flimsy arguments that the federal government has been throwing at these kids to try and avoid accountability for treating them fairly, giving them the help they need and compensating the victims of their discrimination.”

Kelowna needs more homeless shelters, BC Housing says, and the Crown corporation wants help in providing them.

The agency currently funds 175 shelter spaces in Kelowna but says it has “exhausted all locations we own,” according to a Friday statement from BC Housing.

The leases for two BC Housing-funded downtown shelters, at 550 Doyle Ave and 1083 Richter St., have been extended to at least March 31, 2022 despite some concern from nearby residents that the shelters contribute to drug use, crime and social disorder.

“With colder temperatures approaching, closing the Doyle Avenue shelter would force 50 guests onto the streets with nowhere else to go,” the agency says.

The almost $20 million spent over the last five years on homelessness hasn’t done much to solve the issue on city streets, parks and in shelters.

“We’re pouring money into this like Niagara Falls, yet we’re still seeing an increase in homelessness, people on the streets,” Bill Vrebosch said Wednesday after the report, Homelessness Landscape in the Nipissing District, was presented to the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board, Wednesday.

“Someday, and probably soon, someone is going to turn off the taps and there will be no more money. Then what are we going to do?”

A day space in Kamloops for homeless people dubbed Envision is still not open yet because the property owner backed out since receiving threats.

Despite announcements in July, and promises that it would be open in early August, the planned day space at 346 Campbell Ave. has not opened after the owner of the Northbridge Hotel decided not to follow through and is not re-engaging with City staff to follow up with the lease.

While some sources say there are legal complications with the lease because the property is up for sale, Kamloops city councillor Bill Sarai said the property owner was threatened after the City announced the day spaces on July 21.

“Either neighbourhood residents, or maybe people that supported Glenn Hilke (coordinator of The Loop) have phoned him and threatened him if he opened up that back building,” Sarai said. “He’s ignored City staff now and not ready to negotiate. (The threats) must have been serious enough that he’s backing out.”

Good federal disability policy that is driven by public interest could make all the difference between a life lived in perpetual poverty or a life with opportunities. So, what’s your party going to do about it?

In my late teens I was diagnosed with epilepsy. There was no known cause for the sudden onset of my severe seizures. It was a scary time. Suddenly I wasn’t able to drive or go to work. I couldn’t even cross the street for fear of having a seizure.

After many tests and medication trials, I received a long-term disability diagnosis from my neurologist. I began to receive long-term disability benefits from my employer, and eventually, I received Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits (CPPD) as well.

When you rely on government disability benefits, you live in poverty.

The city spent nearly $2 million to remove homeless people from three large encampments in parks this summer, clean up debris and erect fencing, according to a new report released Friday.

The report details the final costs for the enforcement of trespassing notices to people who set up tents at Trinity Bellwoods Park, Alexandra Park and Lamport Stadium.

Kelli Moffat’s house in Prince George, British Columbia overlooks an encampment where people without homes have taken up shelter in rows of tents and tarps.

The camp concerns her, and not just because she’s noticed a rise in crime in her neighbourhood. She recognizes not everyone in the encampment is responsible, and has mixed feelings about the city’s plans to tear it down. Instead, she says, she would like to see more support for the people who live there.

“We really want something done about the homeless situation and the fact that nobody should live like that,” she said. “This is definitely a federal and provincial issue. The city can only do so much.”