A government policy launched in the 1980s namely deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill has been called a failed experiment by the British Columbia's Premier Gordon Campbell who was elected in 2001. The increasing problem of the mentally ill came out in an investigative report by the police that revealed a third of all police calls deal with the mentally ill.
The mayor of Vancouver says he's not surprised the police research report. But Mayor Sam Sullivan says he's still shocked by the actual number of such calls and the amount of resources Vancouver police have to devote to dealing with mentally ill people.
This is the result of a dysfunctional health system which refuses to treat mentally ill who aren't off drugs. The Mayor said that many of those the police encounter should be in institutions and not on the street. Due to the lack of institutional capacity, Vancouver's mentally ill are roaming the streets posing a danger to either themselves or others.