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Canada In B.C.'s interior, some businesses vow to leave downtown amid housing, addiction crisis

18:25  24 november  2019
18:25  24 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Downtown business owners in B . C .' s Interior say problems stemming from the province' s housing and addictions crises are making it increasingly difficult to A harm reduction sticker on a lamp post in downtown Prince George. Some local businesses are frustrated by discarded needles and other

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a sign on the side of a building: A harm reduction sticker on a lamp post in downtown Prince George. Some local businesses are frustrated by discarded needles and other issues they link to agencies providing supports to people living in the neighbourhood.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation A harm reduction sticker on a lamp post in downtown Prince George. Some local businesses are frustrated by discarded needles and other issues they link to agencies providing supports to people living in the neighbourhood. Downtown business owners in B.C.'s Interior say problems stemming from the province's housing and addictions crises are making it increasingly difficult to operate, and some are pulling out of their city centres altogether.

In Kelowna, a growing list of companies have abandoned the downtown Leon Ave. neighbourhood, citing an increased homeless population. Quesnel and Terrace have held public meetings addressing similar concerns.

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And in Prince George, the 100-year-old Northern Hardware store announced plans to shut down this week, blaming a rise in online shopping and big box stores, but also a deterioration of the downtown community it anchored for generations.

"I understand the angst," Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall said. "I'm downtown all the time, and I have seen the increase of what's happening."

Nightclub owner Jason Luke said "what's happening" includes the prevalence of discarded needles and human feces. As well, some who work in the area say they fear for their safety.

Luke helped form a new organization consisting of frustrated business owners after Kate Roxburgh, who owns Topaz Bead Gallery on 4th Ave., was assaulted by an alleged shoplifter. She said she no longer feels safe and plans to sell her business.

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Local Businesses . in this case, you can look at the denominator and see that a=3. so the question is to find some f such that f(x) - f(3) = x^2 + x -12. this is kind of a trial-and-error process, but you can observe that if f(x) = x^2 + x, then f(3) = 12, so it works.

The disappearance of such prominent features had altered the appearance of the town centre entirely, to the annoyance of its more conservative inhabitants. Among the annoyed, under more normal circumstances, would have been Chief Inspector Douglas Pelham, head of the local police force.

"The businesses that I've talked to are really fed up," Luke said. "I want action and I want it literally right now."

Hall said he will hold a special meeting focused on downtown. But many of the problems are outside the city's control.

"We have an opioid crisis. We have a need for more housing," he said. "It's a problem all over the province."

Mark Burley with the Downtown Kelowna Association said the province should provide resources for more housing and addiction recovery options in the interior.

"The province needs to get off their sorry butt and start funding some programs that are going to help these people get off the street," Burley said.

Backlash concerns

Not all the news in downtown Prince George is bad. Construction is underway on several major projects including a new hotel, a pool, student housing and a 151-unit condominium.

Colleen Van Mook of the downtown Prince George business association said the area is "still home to over 500 great businesses" that continue to grow, and a local craft brewery celebrated its third anniversary with a series of sold-out downtown street parties over the summer.

Kelowna business owners say they're leaving downtown because of homeless population

  Kelowna business owners say they're leaving downtown because of homeless population Boyds Tire and Auto Service is the latest in a growing list of businesses that are leaving the Leon Avenue area of downtown Kelowna because of the increasing size of the homeless population. Chad Abougoush, the owner of the auto shop that sits on the corner of Leon Avenue and Water Street, says his customers are no longer comfortable coming to his location. "So because of our customer safety and how we want our customers to feel when they come into our facility that's really pushed us to have to move," he told Daybreak South's Brady Strachan.

Some businesses even benefit as consumers cut back on substitute products and other competing options. Companies in the business of providing tools and materials for home improvement, maintenance, and repair projects are likely to see a stable or even increasing demand during a

Some additional material to Form 10 Unit 2 Houses and Homes. Grammar: revision of used to Speaking: interior and exterior of homes of the past. Which country are these houses in ? b . Listen to the recording. c . Read the texts. Fill in the missing words to make the sentences complete.

But with the recent negative news, some people in the area worry about a backlash against people dealing with homelessness and addiction — and the agencies that help them.

Stuart Parker, a writer and former academic, said he walks downtown nearly every day, and is bothered by some of the language he'd heard describing people living on the street.

"Statements like 'These people have no rights' and they must be 'rounded up,'" he said.

a close up of a busy city street: Some Prince George business owners say customers don't feel safe in the neighbourhood and blame harm reduction services in the same community. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Some Prince George business owners say customers don't feel safe in the neighbourhood and blame harm reduction services in the same community.

Trevor Charles, who was recently homeless for four years, said he wondered about calls to "clean up" the neighbourhood. "What do they mean 'clean up'?" he asked.

"The people? The people have been out there on the street for 20, 30 years now."

Charles said more spaces should be opened for people without homes so they wouldn't be forced onto sidewalks and alleys.

a sign on the side of a road: Prince George's weekly farmer's market and street festivals held by CrossRoads Brewing have been successful. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Prince George's weekly farmer's market and street festivals held by CrossRoads Brewing have been successful.

Hall, the mayor, said housing and health services are needed, adding he'll continue to work with the province to provide them, while also supporting local businesses.

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"For me the ideal downtown is that we can provide services in locations to these folks that require it... And we have a vibrant downtown that people are not concerned or afraid to come to."

Hear full interviews with Lyn Hall, Jason Luke, Stuart Parker and Trevor Charles on CBC Listen. Connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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