A task force that will look into the impact of homelessness, poverty and addictions on Vernon’s business community, will hold its first meeting next week.
Scott Anderson is one of two Vernon councillors who will sit on the committee.
He says they have a specific focus.
“It’s not trying to cure the root causes, it’s not trying to deal with addiction or homelessness or anything like that. What we’re actually looking at is the impact of some members of that population on civil society and on businesses in Vernon, “Anderson told CJIB News.
Anderson says the committee’s start was delayed to reduce its members down to around 10 from 13.
“We made some modification to the membership of the task force, and that’s on me because I wanted to make those modifications, but I’m hoping by the end of April, we will have some recommendations.”
Anderson says the first meeting will be March 22.
Councillor Juliette Cunningham says the task force will come up with recommendations for council to consider, but there are no easy solutions.
“Is it something within our legal ability to do? You can’t just move people along because you don’t like to see them there, so we’ll have to see what their recommendations are going to be,” says Cunningham.
Brian Quiring will be council’s other member on the task force, which will also include reps from business, the RCMP and Vernon bylaw.
Business owner Vicki Eide spearheaded the action last fall, telling council they felt like they were in a drug apocalypse due to all the illegal activity in the downtown area.