Kelowna city council candidate Daniel Joseph organized a homeless protest outside of city hall Monday to draw attention to the problem.
He said that it’s an issue close to his heart. Joseph was able to round up about 50 people he says are homeless and unable to find an affordable place to live.
“One of the things that I wanted to shed light on is that people talk about homelessness and drug abuse and mental illness as if they’re specifically a provincial issue. Whereas I strongly disagree.” says Joseph.
He argues the residential towers in planning will not accommodate in the lower income or or ease the rental crisis. Jospeh says the city needs zoning and development of development of mid-rising housing
Jospeh claimed some donations were made to people that were in need. “Basically, I walked from the rail trail with around 50 residents of the tent city, to city hall for the protest,” he told Castanet in a text message.
“I had a box full of burgers ordered, but also felt bad for how these people were living, so gave out burgers and cash donations to everyone who needed it.”
City council candidate Gord Lovegrove also joined the protest and insists no one was paid to protest.
“I know for a fact, and Daniel and I know each other well enough to trust what each other says, I didn’t pay them to attend there, he didn’t pay them to attend there. But there was burgers handed out for free at the camp and donations made.”
Shady as f–k
Community activist Heather Friesen who is a frequent visitor to the tent city is skeptical of Daniel Joseph’s and Gord Lovegrove and questions the use of the word “donations,” saying the people she talked to from the tent city camp told her they felt like they were paid to protest.
“For them just to show up one day out of the blue and say here’s fifty bucks, come protest with us. To me, that’s using people as props to get elected. That’s shady as f–k.”
Kelowna city council candidate Daniel Joseph says he gave out free burgers and donations but didn’t specifically pay anyone from the homeless population to attend a rally for affordable housing outside city hall Monday.
According to Castanet, they visited the camp along Rail Trail where a number of people said they were paid $50 and a burger to be outside city hall. One man that didn’t attend because of his old age and poor weather said he didn’t receive any donation.
Some tent city residents, however, did say they believed in the message being put forward by the protest—the need for affordable housing.