Mr. Speaker, we are so fortunate to live in Canada, where we aspire to be a nation that takes care of each other.
In Courtenay—Alberni, access to affordable housing has become an urgent and desperate matter. The situation is critical. People are living in unsafe derelict boats, in the bush, and on the streets.
In Port Alberni, a small city of only 17,000 people, more than half the residents can barely afford their rent, while the homeless shelter has only 12 beds. That shelter had to turn away more than 1,000 people last year, because it simply did not have room.
We are blessed to have compassionate organizations such as the Port Alberni Shelter Society, the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, Dawn to Dawn, and the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness.
These organizations need urgent resources from Ottawa to help lift people out of homelessness and restore the dignity and compassion they deserve.