[Hpn] Fwd: Homeless man attacked April 25, City Hall Toronto

Graeme Bacque gbacque@idirect.com
Tue, 25 Apr 2000 20:13:31 -0400

------------forwarded message------------
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 14:08:06 -0400
From: Bob Olsen <bobolsen@interlog.com>
To: act-cuts-ont-l@list.web.net
Subject: Homeless man attacked April 25, City Hall Toronto

  1. Demonstration April 26, Nathan Phillips Square re homelessness

  2. Homeless man attacked with an axe, Nathan Phillips Square,
     April 25

From: "Kira Heineck" <kira@idirect.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 09:01:51 -0500

Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
Media advisory
April 25, 2000

Mayor Lastman and City are silent
as homeless people are dying and shelters are closed;
housing and hostels are pushed off the agenda

TDRC action: Wednesday, April 26 - NOON
Nathan Phillips Square

The Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC), homeless people and their
allies will gather at Toronto City Hall on Wednesday, April 26, at noon at
Nathan Phillips Square, to denounce the silence of Toronto Mayor Mel
Lastman and the City of Toronto in the face of a growing number of homeless
people dying on Toronto's streets. TDRC has confirmed 19 homeless deaths in
recent weeks in Toronto, with unconfirmed reports of even more deaths. To
make matters worse, the City of Toronto has decided to close two large
homeless shelters in the coming days which will eliminate hundreds of
desperately needed temporary beds for the homeless.

"Mayor Mel Lastman and Toronto City Council have said almost nothing about
housing and shelters since they started moving up plans for waterfront
redevelopment and the 2008 Olympics," says Beric German of the TDRC. "Mayor
Lastman is more interested in putting plastic moose on our streets for the
tourists than he is in making sure all the citizens of Toronto have a
decent place to call home. The growing number of deaths of homeless people
doesn't appear to jar his conscience. Now the city is closing hostels and
driving more people into the streets. Any concern that Mayor Lastman may
have had about homelessness appears to have evaporated."

The TDRC action comes one day before the Big City Mayors' Caucus of the
Federation of Canadian Municipalities meets in London, Ontario, on April 27
and 28. The mayors of Canada's largest cities, following the lead of
Toronto City Council, declared homelessness a National Disaster in November
1998. Housing and homeless remain high on the agenda of the FCM and the Big
City Mayors, but not for Mayor Lastman and Toronto City Council.

Toronto is not only Canada's largest city, but is shamed by having the
nation's largest homeless population. "Mayor Lastman and Toronto City
Council should be leading the national campaign to end homelessness, not
just for the homeless people of our city, but to show leadership for the
entire country," says German. "TDRC and our allies want Mayor Lastman and
City Council to take real action to end homelessness. The first step is to
make sure that the homeless women, men and children have temporary shelter
in hostels. The next step is affordable housing."

For information:
Kira Heineck - 416-703-8482, x411

                   Apr 25, 10:46 EDT

                    Homeless man attacked with axe

                    From Canadian Press

  A homeless man sleeping on a park bench lost a finger
  after being attacked with an axe early today, police said.

  The incident occurred near city hall and the weapon was
  found at the scene.

  ''It's really unusual,'' said Det. Mark Hayward.
  ''The axe is not usually a weapon of choice. . .
  He lost a lot of blood.''

  Hayward said the man does not remember the attack and
  police have no witnesses.

  ''He was alone at the time . . . It was the middle of the
  night,'' he said. ''He awoke and had already sustained
  injuries. He made his way to a phone booth and called 911.''

  The man, 40, suffered severe head and hand injuries, as
  well as the loss of his right pinky finger.

  He was taken to hospital and was in surgery this morning.

  Police said the man was new to the city and that a search
  is under way for one or more attacker.

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    Bob Olsen, Toronto      bobolsen@interlog.com