[Hpn] No Room at the Armoury

W.C.Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Mon, 30 Dec 2002 12:13:37 -0500


From: "TDRC" <tdrc@tdrc.net>

 Thought you'd like to see this and get involved.
 --Musonda

 Homes not Bombs, (416) 651-5800

 As the homeless are forced to sleep on the streets of Toronto, a
massive armoury sits empty.

 On Xmas Eve, about twenty-five elves, reindeer and Homes not
Bombs members joined Santa Claus to ask a simple question: why is there no
room
at the Moss Park Armoury for the hundreds of homeless people in the
immediate
neighbourhood?

"Homelessness does not take a holiday," said Claus as he
inspected the grounds of the armoury. The massive building was completely
empty--even the regular security who are there to monitor the Tuesday
evening
vigils were not present. On a chilly evening like this, it was another
reminder that a building which should be declared surplus by the federal
government and turned over to the city for affordable housing remains a
little used war training camp.

"Obviously, we don't want a war training camp period, so to say
they ARE using it for that purpose does not meet the needs of the
community, which are for homes, not bombs," Claus said. "As
someone who needs to keep tabs on who lives where, I can tell you that last
year, the government of Iraq built more social housing units than Canada.

This country was too busy spending hundreds of millions of dollars
using its military to enforce deadly sanctions against the Iraqi people."
A massive 6 foot high, 75-foot banner which read, "Why is there
no room at the inn?" was affixied to the front walls of the armoury,
and the slogan Homes not Bombs appeared magically beneath the lead
artillery piece at the armoury's entrance.

At the normal vigil spot, warm clothes, fresh fruits and
vegetables and holiday treats were distributed to dozens of folks who passed
by and stopped to chat.

Claus, who stayed for most of the vigil but had other plans for
the evening, declared that he would continue working on the issue
from the North Pole, and encouraged others to do their part by writing a
quick note to the following individuals, urging that they take action to
declare the armoury surplus and turn it over to the city with the
stipulation
that it be used for low-cost housing for the homeless.
"Don't take no for an answer,": Claus said. "The choice of using
this building as a war training camp kills twice--it deprives
people of shelter here in Canada, leading to death on the streets, and it
trains people to kill abroad."
He also asked folks to join the weekly vigils, every Tuesday
evening from 6-7:30 pm just east of Jarvis and Queen. The next
vigil is New Year's Eve.

(This campaign has been endorsed by Councillor Jack Layton as
well as the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee)


 Bill Graham, Member of Parliament
365 Bloor St. E, #1703
Toronto, ON M4W 3L4
Tel: 416-954-2222
Fax: 416-954-9649
Graham.B@parl.gc.ca
(Moss Park is in his riding)

 John McCallum, MP
Minister of War
8392 Kennedy Road, Ste. A17
Markham, Ontario
L3R 0W4 Canada
Tel: 905-479-8100
Fax: 905-479-3440
mccalj@parl.gc.ca
or
Ottawa Parliamentary Office
Tel: 613-996-3374
Fax: 613-992-3921
Room 110, Justice Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
 K1A 0A6 Canada

 Claudette Bradshaw, MP
Minister Responsible for Homelessness
Parliament Hill Office
Room 356, Confederation Bldg.
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Tel: (613)  992-8072
Fax: (613)  992-8083

 Kyle Rae, City Councillor
100 Queen Street W., Ste. A5
Toronto, M5H 2N2
Tel: 416-392-7903
Fax: 416-696-4300
councillor_rae@city.toronto.on.ca
(Moss Park is in his riding)

 Pam McConnell, City Councillor
100 Queen Street W., Ste.A7
Toronto, M5H 2N2
Tel: 416-392-7916
Fax: 416-392-7296
councillor_mcconnell@city.toronto.on.ca
(Moss Park borders her riding)

 George Smitherman, MPP
410 Sherbourne Street, Main Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M4X 1K2
Tel: 416-972-7683
Fax: 416-972-7686
george_smitherman-mpp-co@ontla.ola.org
(Moss Park is in his riding)

For sample letters on this issue, e-mail tasc@web.ca or call us
at (416) 651-5800 ext. 1 and we'll get something to you.