HOMELESSNESS in British Columbia may have started with the SMALLPOX epidemics that decimated First Nations during the 19th century. Villages were depopulated and some survivors became refugees. The Royal Navy's punitive shelling of some coastal First Nations villages had the same effect. In VANCOUVER the Great Fire of 1886 forced all residents to camp temporarily. Real estate speculation made city building lots expensive, but most land in the province was affordable since governments were...

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