An ordinance protocol that allowed camps in public spaces was repealed in Hamilton with effect from Monday.
The city says it is returning to pre-protocol enforcement of the statutes that prohibit camping on community properties, including city parks.
Hamilton City Council is holding a closed emergency meeting to repeal the camp statute
In a press release released Monday morning, the city added that enforcement will balance the safety and wellbeing of those who live outdoors with broader community access to green spaces for safe outdoor recreation.
The city also insisted that their focus is on helping homeless people find safe and affordable housing by taking an individualized approach to connecting them to the community’s available resources and support.
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Hamilton City Council voted during a special session on Jan.
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“We had an emergency meeting because most of us felt we were in a state of emergency,” said Ward 2 Couns. Jason Farr.
“It was cumulative, but we had situations that we as the managing authority had to address … an explosion in a warehouse in Central Park, fires that took place.”
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Poverty Reduction Advocates and Harm Reduction Workers have said they fear that ending the camp protocol will send the message that homelessness is a law and order issue and not a symptom of the housing crisis.
The Hamilton Social Medicine Response Team also argued that it is a violation of human rights and dignity to evict people who have nowhere else to go.
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