I am writing in response to a letter by Liberal Member of Parliament John McCallum [Housing: Homeless left out by feds, Feb. 7 Letters, www.langleyadvance.com].
It is very kind for MP McCallum from Markham-Unionville, Ont., to take a long distance interest in the issue of homelessness in Langley, B.C., so I am glad to have this opportunity to allay his concerns.
Contrary to his claims, our Conservative government has addressed homelessness in Canada by funding the At Home/Chez Soi project, the "largest [homeless housing project] of its kind underway in the world right now," according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
This project, already underway in five major cities across Canada, including Vancouver, seeks to aid Canada's most vulnerable by providing treatment for mental health issues, as well as housing.
Even closer to home, right here in beautiful Langley, the federal government partnered with the provincial and municipal government, and helped to fund Gateway of Hope. This 31,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, accommodating up to 55 people and equipped with a full commercial kitchen, patio, and greenhouse, was made possible in part by a federal government contribution of $1.4 million.
I thank the Member of Parliament from Ontario for bringing to attention the issue of homelessness, but I am confident that the Conservative government has already implemented many cost-efficient and effective social programs across Canada.
The needs of the homeless in our community continue to be a complex issue with many challenges. This requires a comprehensive approach, which is at the core of each of our federal government's programs.
Mark Warawa, Langley MP
@ Copyright 2013