The shooting in Polson Park Thursday has ignited a debate about the homeless camps in the park, and the safety issues that creates for the public.
A man suffered serious but non life threatening injuries after being shot in the south east part of the park, which in where several homeless tents are located.
Police have not made any arrests in the case as yet.
Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund says council discussed the tents this week and approved time limits for when the shelters can be up, from 9 pm to 9 am, and only when local shelters are full.
However, other than that, he says the city’s hands are tied, unless senior governments make changes.
“We can do what we can according to the Charter of Rights, and with all the other stuff that’s thrown at us, we can’t do much. I wish that people would educate themselves that it’s not the municipality. We can only do so much We can not kick people out of the park if they don’t have a place to sleep (if local shelters are full),” Mund tells Kiss FM.
Mund says everyone assumes the shooting was connected to the homeless camp, but he says that hasn’t been confirmed.
He says it was the same situation with two assaults the last couple years which turned out to not involve homeless people.
“Both assaults downtown had nothing to do with the homeless, so I will reserve my comments to find out exactly what was going on in the park, but everyone assumes it’s connected to the homeless camp in the back of the park automatically.”
Mund says it’s unfortunate the shooting took place, but he says shootings happen in every community.
“Is it ever going to not happen? No. We do what we can, the RCMP does what they can to eliminate that, but there’s always going to be criminal activity. The problem we have these days is that social media blows it up like it’s a common practice and it happens everyday in our community. It doesn’t,” adds Mund.