News Clippings – June 19 | Housing for kids aging out of care, ministry focused on overdose crisis, social assistance increase, housing issues & more

1. Two new housing units for children transitioning out of foster care have opened in Surrey, but advocates say there\’s still a lot of work to be done to help the hundreds of vulnerable young adults who age out of the system.

2. BC\’s Provincial Health Officer says a separate Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions could face funding, staffing, and information-sharing challenges thus creating a distraction (rather than a solution) in the province’s growing response to the overdose crisis.

3. Meanwhile, a board member of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users says the war on drugs has failed and believes drug users themselves are the solution to addressing overdose deaths and providing services to vulnerable people.

4. The BC Liberals are pledging to raise welfare rates and ban big money donations in the upcoming Throne Speech, saying they are listening to the message from voters—but others are interpreting the move as a desperate bid to hold onto power.

5. A housing forum in Vancouver last week shifted from issues of density and affordability to homelessness after a long-time activist took the stage and explained that, \”not having housing is life-threatening.\”

6. An Okanagan-based, Indigenous-led, collaborative project is unsettling the celebratory narrative of Canada\’s 150the birthday and refocusing attention onto Indigenous perspectives about past and present colonial relations with Canada\’s First Nations.

7. Elsewhere, artists and activists are using social media to highlight 150 years of Indigenous resistance, resilience, and reclamation in response to #Canada150 celebrations.

8. A Human Rights Watch submission to the federal government has highlighted numerous complaints about police abuse against Indigenous women in Canada and is calling for increased accountability.

9. More than a decade after First Nations along northern BC\’s so-called Highway of Tears began pleading for reliable public transportation, two new bus routes have started regular service along Highway 16.

10. Canada\’s Liberal government has unveiled its strategy on gender-based violence, proposing to spend the bulk of the promised cash to create a centre of excellence to study and try to solve the problem; however, the announcement means that those who have been calling for a comprehensive plan involving the provinces and territories will have to keep waiting.