Editor, The Times:
Some time ago we were made aware of an individual living in an RV near 70 Mile who had been contacted by TNRD bylaw enforcement. This particular individual was in dire straights and this was the last step to living on the streets.
The TNRD had alluded to not proceeding with these measures for the time being yet despite this that person was served notice informing them that they were in infraction of the bylaws.
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and as you all know we have been told to shelter in place and exercise social distancing. We are all currently having to endure a crisis incomparable in our history and we are being asked by government to all do our part to look out for each other, to follow protocols for safety.
Last week the TNRD board held it’s meeting and due to virus circumstances it could not be attended by members of the public. Nor were any attempts made to record or live stream the meeting.
Now, as the minutes of that meeting are released, we learn that the TNRD board has chosen to proceed with taking action against this individual who, trying only to survive within poor financial means and in the midst of a global crisis of unparalleled proportions, is burdened with the additional stress and suffering of a government body who are completely bereft of one iota of compassion or empathy.
The TNRD board has told them they must apply for a temporary use permit (TUP), the requirements for which are totally unattainable for someone in a survival situation. The necessary requirements demand an outlay of possibly tens of thousands of dollars to meet compliance. It also has an application fee of $1,500!
This is the compassionate compromise of the TNRD? To do this at a meeting where the public is absent, and when the nation is gripped in the panic and fear of a deadly pandemic has to be the lowest of lows. It is an act of the most merciless and heartless nature by elected representatives who have shown just what a repugnant abuse of power they are capable of.
There should be no doubt now just how little this body cares about the well-being and safety of its constituents. I hope every one of conscience speaks up against this despicable act and more importantly that we remember this well come election time!
Tom Coles, president,
Rural Rights Association of B.C.