Following a lengthy in-camera huddle with City legal staff council has voted to challenge the injunction that had barred the city from forcibly dismantling the tent encampments that have sprung up mainly in the downtown area. After the meeting safety director Paul Johnson said the city has ample shelter capability to house all who need it. In a stamen the city stated, “As a municipality, it is our responsibility to ensure we strike the right balance to support the health and safety requirements of our most vulnerable along with those of our entire community.”
The statement said the city had been in dialogue with the camp dwellers in an effort to”
• educate them about their options to find legal housing/shelter/hotel accommodations,
• ensure they understand health and safety expectations including rules applicable to preserving safety within shelters.
To date, these efforts connected over 100 individuals to safer and more humane living conditions. Hamilton City Council continues to support the successful work of the City’s Encampment Taskforce. “
The release noted that since the pandemic began no-one who has requested shelter has been turned away. The City’s legal team is working on gathering further evidence to challenge the current injunction prohibiting the City from involuntarily removing residents of encampments.