The forced eviction of people experiencing homelessness we saw in Halifax today is not only cruel, but it is also inhumane and will ultimately be ineffective. This approach to homeless encampments only hurts people already in pain, puts those people at increased risk of greater harm, and wastes money that could be better used on solutions. We urge the City of Halifax, and all municipal leaders to stop the forced eviction of people living in encampments and focus on lasting, effective housing-focused solutions.
At the same time, we need to recognize that modern mass homelessness is the direct result of federal housing policy and divestment that began over 30 years ago. Further, we know more than 36% of Canadians have experienced homelessness or know someone that has, while more than 35,000 are homeless any given night.
According to a Nanos Research poll completed earlier this month, 84% would support the building of more affordable housing in Canada.
This crisis is real. This crisis is widespread and the only lasting, effective solution to homelessness is housing with appropriate support.
We are calling on all parties in this federal election to pause and reflect on what has happened in Halifax today as yet another reason to invest in safe, secure, affordable housing before this crisis becomes a catastrophe.