Today’s Letters: Poverty is the root of ByWard Market’s problems

Resources from all levels of government will be needed to address this issue, writes one reader. You can also write to us at [email protected]

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From desperation to drugs and crime

Re: City can’t let ByWard become a no-go zone, Jan. 5

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While I agree with everything reported about the ByWard area becoming a no-go part of Ottawa, I hope the new ByWard District Authority recognizes the root of the increase in crime in the area: the poverty.

People who have become desperate about their situation in life seek solace in drugs, which for many leads to addiction, which requires a source of money to sustain the illness, which leads to theft. Mental illness shows its face in many forms: verbal abuse and erratic behavior are just two of them. Allowing service agencies to cluster in the area contributes to the problem while attempting to alleviate it.

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TO basic income forum Coming to Ottawa May 23-26 could offer some solutions to the city, while clean supply from the federal government could take control away from drug dealers.

Certainly, small affordable villages with adequate support, far from the city centre, could first guarantee housing to provide security and dignity to those for whom the shelter system only increases their misery and hopelessness. Charities should not be the primary supporter of the sick and homeless, but resources from all levels of government will be needed to address this issue. Poverty is a political choice.

Carolyn Herbert, Nepean

A privileged vacation

Re: PM, his family stayed in Jamaica ‘at no cost’ January 5

I think this “profit” should be considered a taxable profit for the Prime Minister. Like many Canadians, I am tired of seeing this type of abuse of privilege while many of us are struggling.

Brian Tascona, Ottawa

A superficial political attack

Re: PM, his family stayed in Jamaica ‘at no cost’ January 5

The most reputable newspapers tend to show marginal support for or against certain political leaders and their party. But it is quite surprising to read the recent politically based criticism of our Prime Minister’s holiday.

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Even the Citizen could have put a limit to such superficial observations.

Lew Trecarten, Ottawa

A complete list of ‘taxes’

Re: New year, new taxes for many Canadians, January 4

No one counts RRSP contributions as taxes. No one considers an insurance premium to be a tax. Likewise, CPP contributions and EI premiums are nothing like taxes. Therefore, lumping increases in CPP contributions and EI premiums into a report on tax increases, as the Fraser Institute does, is reporting fake news.

Sylvester Damus, Ottawa

When it comes to housing, size matters

​A key ingredient appears to be missing from news coverage of the current housing shortage. It is an essential component of a useful debate. It is the size of the target housing units.

Look closely at the type of housing featured in post-war government-sponsored homes and apartments. Compare that to what people want today. Let’s not get carried away assuming that the buyers and renters of tomorrow would look for units smaller than 1,000 square feet. Or would they?

That is a key question to investigate.

Bob Elrick, Ottawa

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