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Nov 9, 2023
Across Canadian cities, homeless encampments are becoming a common sight. The available numbers paint a stark picture.
In Ottawa, city staff responded to at least 375 encampments this year — up 475 per cent from 2020. In Edmonton, with local shelters near capacity, the city removed 1,103 encampments in the first six months of the year. No longer confined to large urban cores, encampments are spreading in suburbs like Ajax near Toronto or Montreal’s Longueuil.
I have witnessed the profound human cost of inadequate housing and related policies. Encampments are glaring evidence of Canada’s housing system in free fall, marked by neglect and greed. They cannot be ignored.