The Tribune was privy to a conversation about bus shelters at Tuesday evening’s committee of the whole meeting that we’ve been mulling over ever since.
Mayor Walt Cobb said he receives complaints about the behaviour of people sitting in the shelter across from Save-on-Foods where council had removed the bench, then due to “one complaint,” put it back.
One councillor suggested Williams Lake follow the Vancouver model where there aren’t benches, only a railing to stand up against. Other councillors agreed Williams Lake did not need more bus shelter benches in the downtown core.
Really? Are we that intolerant?
People hanging out in the bus shelter visiting, perhaps drinking to excess, or just keeping warm are some of the most vulnerable in our community.
Some of us walk by that particular shelter at least one evening a week with a friend and our dogs and we stop and talk to these fellow human beings.
In November one man told us he’d put on his warmer coat and boots because he was sleeping outside. We went home that night grateful for our cozy bed. Another woman insisted we add her beer can to our collection — our friend picks up bottles and cans for a mission in Africa.
Everyone sitting in the Rick Hansen board room Tuesday evening lives in nice homes. We are free to invite friends over to visit any time we want. That is not the case for marginalized people who may be couch surfing or living in conditions we cannot imagine.
Are we really going to begrudge them a bus bench?