The Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, the Disability Justice Network of Ontario, housing advocates, and community residents will hold a news conference at 10 am outside 195 Ferguson Ave N on October 19th, 2020, calling on the City of Hamilton to take concrete actions to solve the city’s housing crisis after witnessing the removal of residents from Ferguson Avenue and First Ontario on October 15th till October 17th, 2020.
On October 6th, 2020 a Superior Court injunction was lifted that allowed the City of Hamilton to enforce its bylaws prohibiting encampments on public property. The lifting of the injunction came after an agreement with community advocates and the City, this allowed the removal of residents living outside First Ontario Centre and along Ferguson Avenue. HCCI, DJNO, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and community residents were present to monitor, record and report any unlawful or improper behaviour. The City of Hamilton enforced the removal of residents on a cold rainy day and for a number of residents they were not promised secure housing. Many of whom have relocated to other parks and locations across the city.
As the City of Hamilton continues to grapple with a global pandemic, the increase in residents sleeping rough should not be tugged away to parks and residents living in parks and other locations should not be subjected to over-policing based on the prohibitions outlined in the City’s agreement. Instead, the City of Hamilton should be focused on coming up with plans and action items to house the most vulnerable across the city.
We hereby formally invite all journalists, members of the press, and residents of Hamilton to this conference. Journalists and members of the press are encouraged to send confirmation of participation, along with their details.