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(en) Canada, Toronto, STOP THE CITY'S PLAN TO SWEEP AWAY THE HOMELESS Meet in Front of City Hall, 9.30 AM, Wednesday, January 19

From "OCAP" <ocap@tao.ca>
Date Tue, 18 Jan 2005 08:33:17 +0100 (CET)

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This Wednesday, the Policy and Finance Committee of City Council will meet
to consider a staff report that calls for a drive to clear the streets of
homeless people. In a situation of where tens of thousands sit on waiting
lists for housing for years and homeless shelters are filled to overflowing,
the City wants to 'solve' the problem by way of an ugly crackdown on the
The report covers its tracks with pious talk of creating housing and of
proving increased 'outreach' to those on the streets, the real
significance of the document lies in what it presents as a 'last resort' a
New York City style crackdown on the homeless.

Motions will be put before the Committee that include a call to the Police
to enforce all laws that are presently used to target the homeless and a
proposal that the Province give the City the power to go after those who
'loiter' by trying to survive on the streets. A 'zero tolerance' policy
against sleeping on City property will also be voted on as well as a
specific by law amendment to make it illegal to sleep in Nathan Phillips

We urge all who want to oppose these measures to come out on Wednesday.
If you would like to give a deputation at this time, call the Committee
Clerk, Patsy Morris at (416) 392-9151 and book your spot.



Last month, OCAP took over the six storey property at 590 Jarvis with the
demand that it be opened up as housing. Our action challenged City plans
to sell this building to a condo developer and, in doing this, fuel the
process of gentrification in central Toronto. We were removed from the
place by way of yet another over the top police mobilization.

OCAP takes the position that no municipal property can be deemed to be
'surplus housing' when the shelters are full and tens of thousands sit on
the waiting lists for housing for years on end.

590 Jarvis is not some crumbling wreck. It is a large, structurally sound
building that could and should make a significant contribution to solving
this City's housing crisis. For the Mayor and Council to permit it to
become yet another link in the chain of upscale redevelopment is simply a
disgrace. Those responsible for planning how Toronto evolves over the
next decades should be protecting low income housing stock not encouraging
the wave of condo development that is obliterating poor and working class

On February 1, OCAP will be going to City Hall to ask for the keys to this
property. We want everyone to know what is involved in this municipal
sale and we are inviting the representatives of community organizations to
join us on a tour of the building so that its fitness as a site for decent
and truly affordable housing can be properly and fairly assessed. If you
would be prepared to join this delegation or would like to discuss the
issue in more detail, please contact us as soon as possible.


Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
416-925-6939 ocap@tao.ca www.ocap.ca
* [Ed. Note: OCAP is antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
direct action social struggle initiative.]

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