Rima Berns-McGown, Ontario NDP critic for Poverty and Homelessness, and Sol Mamakwa, MPP for Kiiwetinoong, are calling on the Ford government to take immediate steps to alleviate the homelessness crisis in the North.
The NDP MPPs’ call comes after the City of Kenora voted down an anti-loitering bylaw that would have seen fines handed out to people struggling with homelessness.
“The provincial government never should have let the homelessness crisis in Ontario get to this point, and turned their back on municipalities that need help,” said Berns-McGown. “Solving this crisis of homelessness requires support from all levels of government, but the province has been cutting instead of investing in solutions.
“That means properly funding social services and shelters, as well as transitional, supportive, and rent-geared-to-income housing for people in need across Northern Ontario.”
“Municipalities like Kenora and Sioux Lookout require support from higher levels of government to work on not only the issue of the emergency of people without homes but the deeper systemic change needed to help the vulnerable members of our communities,” added Mamakwa. “Implementing municipal anti-loitering by-laws is racism and will not solve the homelessness crisis in the North.
“Real collaboration is needed to address the issues of colonialism and racism in our communities, as well as increased housing and social supports. Northwestern Ontario needs all of its leaders to deal proactively with these emergencies, especially those that adversely affect our disproportionately marginalized community members.”