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Montreal | The dismantling of a homeless camp postponed

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The dismantling of a homeless camp under the Ville-Marie highway, near downtown Montreal, has been postponed. The operation was scheduled for Thursday.

The Ministère des Transports (MTQ), which owns the land, has decided to give social services more time to relocate the occupants of the dozen tents in the camp.

“The eviction date has been postponed,” said Sarah Bensadoun, spokesperson for the MTQ. “For now, the [nouvelle] date is not yet decided. »

The Ministry of Transport, which owns the land, had asked the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) to evict the occupants because it is “not suitable for habitation” and that a contractor had to do Works. The presence of tents “does not allow the contractor to carry out interventions on the infrastructure in a safe manner for employees and campers”.


PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

“Good, good, very happy”

On the spot, Wednesday, the campers shouted victory.

“I’m very, very, very happy,” said Jacco Staben, one of the occupants. “I’ve been here for more than seven years, in different places under the Ville-Marie highway. We do nothing, we are quiet. »

Mr. Staben chose to pitch his tent there because he no longer wants to sleep in the shelters. “There are too many bedbugs, there are cockroaches, there is no space, there are a lot of criminals. We are quieter here,” he said.

Nancy Morel and Steve Roberge built a large cabin with wooden planks and tarps. “It’s the town hall,” joked Mr. Roberge. The couple are delighted with the postponement of the dismantling. “Destabilizing creates disorganization. And being disorganized is the first thing to avoid,” continued the occupier.

In the middle of the day, the mayor of Montreal pointed out that the camp was on the territory of the City of Westmount, demerged since 2002. Mme Plante praised the “approach” of its municipal services to the homelessness file. “We are there, we lend a hand to the SQ via the SPVM, but also we also support the City of Westmount with our organizations. »

For the future, Mr.me Plante said she was waiting to see the Department of Social Services’ plan to address homelessness this winter in Montreal. “For our administration, we consider that a camp is not the solution. We want everyone on our territory to be safe and warm, ”continued M.me Plant. “That said, we have to help homeless people find resources. »



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