[Hpn] KEEP THE ARMOURY OPEN! Keep the pressure on!

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Wed, 28 Jan 2004 16:29:44 -0500

Keep the Armoury Open!!!

About 130 people nightly are finding emergency shelter in the Fort York
Armoury, but the federal Department of National Defense says that the City
of Toronto can only use the property until February 4, 2004.

Toronto's cold and bitter winter will last many weeks longer and shelters
are still reporting that they're at capacity. We need the armoury to remain
open. It's about saving the lives of people still on the streets.

Please write right away to federal defense minister David Pratt and fax your
letter to 613-995-8189.

- Send a copy of your fax to his assistant, Michael May, at fax number

- Send a copy to Mayor David Miller at fax number 416-338-7115.

- Send a copy to Phil Brown, General Manager, Community and Neighbourhood
Services Department, Shelter, Housing and Support Division at fax number

- and: send a copy to the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee (TDRC) at

City officials are negotiating to keep the shelter open, but we need to
deliver a strong message to the federal government that the armoury must
stay open.

A letter from TDRC to Minister Pratt is printed below.

* * *

Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
6 Trinity Square, Toronto,
ON M5G 1B1
phone: 416-599-TDRC (8372)
fax: 416-599-5445
tdrc@tdrc.net / www.tdrc.net

January 27, 2004

Sent via fax to: 613-995-8189

Hon. David Pratt, Minister of National Defense


RE: A long winter for the homeless in Toronto

I am writing on behalf of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee to thank you
for your positive response to our request on January 10, 2004, to open the
Fort York Armoury as an emergency shelter for Toronto's homeless. There has
been an almost continuous series of extreme cold weather alerts in this city
in recent days. About 130 people are finding shelter in the armoury, some of
them taking refuge from the bitter cold of the streets and others coming
from the city's over-crowded shelter system.

Our group is concerned that the permission to use the armoury expires on
February 4, 2004, and that homeless people will find themselves back in the
cold in the midst of a very bitter winter. We are asking you to direct your
staff to make the armoury available to the City of Toronto on an ongoing
basis until at least the warmer weather of the spring. We know that city
officials are negotiating with DND staff on this matter.

We look forward to your immediate response to this request.


Michael Shapcott, on behalf of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee

Copies to:

* Hon. David Anderson, Minister Responsible for CMHC
* Hon. Andy Scott, Minister of State (CMHC)
* Hon. Claudette Bradshaw, Minister Responsible for Homelessness
* Hon. John Godfrey, Parliamentary Secretary (Cities)
* Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, Prime Minister
* Mayor David Miller, City of Toronto