[Hpn] Indigent deaths blamed on PM

Graeme Bacque gbacque@colosseum.com
Thu, 27 May 2004 07:55:07 -0400


Thu, May 27, 2004

Indigent deaths blamed on PM
Layton slams Grit policies

NDP LEADER Jack Layton says Paul Martin is personally to blame for the
deaths of hundreds of Canada's homeless. Pointing to the downtown Toronto
memorial for people who've died on the streets, Layton said deep cuts to
social housing under Martin's watch as finance minister led to a "rapid
rise" in the number of deaths.

Since 1995, 270 names have been added to the list.

"I believe that when Paul Martin cancelled the affordable housing across
this country, it produced a dramatic rise in homelessness and death due to
homelessness," he said. "And I've always said I hold him responsible for


Layton raised the homeless issue during last night's nomination meeting for
his wife Olivia Chow, who was acclaimed as the NDP candidate for
Trinity-Spadina inside the Trinity Square church where the homeless memorial
is located.

About 350 enthusiastic supporters packed the place as the political power
couple vowed to shake up Ottawa. Chow, 47, said the Liberal government has
shortchanged Toronto on funds for affordable housing, public transit and
child care. She took aim at her Liberal opponent, Tony Ianno, describing him
as "shockingly absent" from the riding.