In Montreal, more than 240 homeless camps have been dismantled since the beginning of the year in the Ville-Marie borough alone. This is the same as last year, according to data obtained by Radio-Canada using the Access to Information Act.
This is also more than double the number of demolitions carried out in 2021, which previously stood at 105.
This development reflects the harsh reality we live in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebeccommented Josefina Blanco, responsible for homelessness in the executive committee of the City of Montreal, on the show The 15-18.
The housing crisis, mental health problems and the opioid crisis mean there are more people experiencing homelessness in public spaces.
This camp under the Ville-Marie highway was dismantled in June due to the repair of the highway of the same name.
These numbers show a
real situation, where we work he assured while justifying the dissolution:
it is unacceptable to allow people to live in tents, in 2023, in Quebec, a rich and united society.
He indicated that his administration is looking for solutions that have been put in place in cities like Montreal,
in Canada and elsewhere in the world and insists on the need for more housing, especially social housing.
These people have the right to have a roof (top) over their head she insisted.
Annie Aubertin, the general director of Specter de rue, an organization that works to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections in the Centre-Sud district, believes that this type of approach, even if interesting, nothing is offered for a short time. solution.
Annie Aubertin is the director of the organization of Specter de rue.
It was years before these houses were built. Now, people have to live somewhere while they wait. reprimanded those who asked the City to put the demolition
The latter actually further undermined the public in which his organization worked, he regretted.
This created a lot of problems, because we lost the people we contacted because we knew where to find them.
People driven from the camps often lose all their possessions, he explained, especially
tents and sleeping bags that were sometimes donated by another level of government, so we were shooting ourselves in the foot.
Another concern: the mental stability of the people living in the camps.
They even lost a place where they could anchor themselves, they also lost a stakeholder. No one can help this way of doing things.
A moratorium on evictions is also called for by Marie-Josée Houle, the federal housing defender. In an interview with Radio-Canada last spring, he described the evictions as human rights violations and called on the Quebec government to stop dismantling the camps in Montreal while it finds solutions.
Josefina Blanco acknowledges that it is not always easy to monitor those living in the camp. He confirmed that the City of Montreal cooperates with local organizations and that situations are analyzed on a case-by-case basis.
If it is an emergency or security situation, it is necessary to allow the emergency services to operate. But if it is not urgent, we will take this step. We visit, we build relationships, we make connections with community organizations that are doing amazing work, we support them with the resources that are already there.
Josefina Blanco, left in the photo, is responsible for diversity, social inclusion, homelessness and youth in the executive committee of the City of Montreal. (Archive photo)
Annie Aubertin had a hard time listening to the security argument.
If people are in danger in a camp, they are more when they are alone, in an alley, or in a small corner of the city where no one knows where they are. In a camp, there are organizational rules and a certain vigilance as wellhe remembered.
The opposition, for its part, focused on the Plante administration and how it handled the situation.
For Benoît Langevin, spokesperson on the issue of homelessness at Montreal City Hall and president of the Ensemble Montréal caucus, the City does not have information that allows it to have a true picture of the situation.
The fragmentary data on the number of tents does not allow us to know if a person discovered in Ville-Marie has not yet been found in Hochelaga laments one who claims to have photographs of the camps at Lachine and the southwest.
Annie Aubertin observes these movements throughout the city, especially in the summer, when Montreal becomes a gathering place for people traveling from outside as well.
There were people who pitched their tent until it fell apart. They just go to another place, then they might come back to the same place. This is their life for the summer usually.
Benoit Langevin confirmed that Montreal should equip itself with mechanisms and indicators to check the situation.
If we are not able to evaluate something, we are not able to work on it or create an action plan that leads to intervention plans. he declared.
Benoit Langevin is the spokesperson on the issue of homelessness in Montreal city hall and president of the Ensemble Montréal caucus. (Archive photo)
The councilor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro also believes that the City cannot simply fulfill its responsibilities by calling on the provincial government. For him, there is a gap to be filled between the service offer in Quebec and the service offer in Montreal.
The City should identify locations where co-housing is possible, areas where there is no daycare nearby, space for the elderly or a high-density tourist district. The city provides space.
Josefina Blanco indicated that she is waiting for the municipal summit on homelessness, which will take place for the first time this Friday, September 15 in Quebec, to have the numbers to confirm field observations.
We will express our needs at the level of the metropolis and other cities as well. Because this is a reality that exists everywhere, not just in Montreal he warned.