[Hpn] Fwd: former city councillor speaks out on the ban

Graeme Bacque gbacque@colosseum.com
Mon, 31 Jan 2005 22:57:26 -0500


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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	former city councillor speaks out on the ban
Date: 	Mon, 31 Jan 2005 22:42:29 -0500
From: 	Cathy Crowe <cathy.crowe@sympatico.ca>
To: 	TDRC <tdrc@on.aibn.com>



A letter sent to the Toronto Star - 

Roger Hollander

Toronto Metro Councillor for Don River, 1987- 1994

 

After years of first hand experience, it does not in the least surprise 
me to see Toronto City Council poised to pass a resolution, ostensibly 
crafted to address the problem of homelessness in the city, but which 
also contains a provision that is bigoted and a blatant violation of 
human rights: I refer to the so-called ban on “camping,” the prohibition 
of homeless people from using Nathan Phillips Square for night-time 
protection.

 

What does disturb me deeply, however, is that most, if not all, of my 
former NDP colleagues on Council and others, including the Mayor, who 
are considered to be progressive, seem ready to support this onerous ban.

 

The practical implications of such a ban, that it will increase the 
vulnerability of those homeless individuals who use the Square, forcing 
them to move to less safe outdoor locations; that it will do zero to 
address the root causes of homelessness; these have already been put 
forth more eloquently than I could, in deputations by dozens of homeless 
individuals and their advocates before Council’s Policy and Finance 
Committee.

 

Beyond these practical considerations, I believe that the symbolic 
implication of such a ban, in the larger picture, poses a serious threat 
to our civil community.  It shifts the onus of homelessness from the 
economic and political leaders of our society – where it rightfully 
belongs – onto the shoulders of those who already bear the brunt of the 
social travesty of homelessness.  It treats homeless Canadians as second 
class citizens, and it signals to the general community that it is 
acceptable to trample on human rights in order to sweep a problem under 
the rug rather than take steps to resolve it, which in this case simply 
means the provision of adequate affordable housing.  The housing 
strategy proposal (“From the Streets into Housing”) before Council has 
some laudable provisions, but it is seriously flawed in that its funding 
proposals fall far short of the need, and does not provide for 
mechanisms to guarantee that allocated funding is implemented. 

 

But it is the ban on “camping” on the Square that reeks of scapegoating 
and prejudice.

 

I think I may have a better idea.  Instead of a ban that would provide 
for the eviction, under the force of law and at the hands of our police, 
of our homeless sisters and brothers from a public civic area that 
should symbolize the human and democratic values of our society; why 
don’t we enact a ban from the building that adjoins Nathan Phillips 
Square against opportunistic politicians who advance their careers by 
pandering to fear and bigotry?

 

Roger Hollander

Toronto Metro Councillor for Don River, 1987- 1994

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I 
was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because 
I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.
-Pastor Martin Niemoller

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-------- Original Message --------
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      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">Subject: </th>
      <td>former city councillor speaks out on the ban</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">Date: </th>
      <td>Mon, 31 Jan 2005 22:42:29 -0500</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">From: </th>
      <td>Cathy Crowe <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto:cathy.crowe@sympatico.ca">&lt;cathy.crowe@sympatico.ca&gt;</a></td>
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      <th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="baseline">To: </th>
      <td>TDRC <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto:tdrc@on.aibn.com">&lt;tdrc@on.aibn.com&gt;</a></td>
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<div><span style="" lang="EN-CA"><font face="Arial" size="2">A letter
sent to the Toronto Star - <span style="" lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font
 face="Times 
New Roman"><O:P><font face="Times New Roman"> </font></O:P></font></font></span></font></span></div>
<div>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font face="Arial" size="2"><font size="3"><font
 face="Times 
New Roman"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">Roger
Hollander<o:p></o:p></font></font></font></font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font face="Arial" size="2"><font size="3"><font
 face="Times 
New Roman"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">Toronto
Metro Councillor for Don River, 1987- 1994<o:p></o:p></font></font></font></font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman"></font></font></span> </p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">After years
of first hand experience, it does not in the least surprise me to see
Toronto City Council poised to pass a resolution, ostensibly crafted to
address the problem of homelessness in the city, but which also
contains a provision that is bigoted and a blatant violation of human
rights: I refer to the so-called ban on “camping,” the prohibition of
homeless people from using Nathan Phillips Square for night-time
protection.<o:p></o:p></font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><o:p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">What does
disturb me deeply, however, is that most, if not all, of my former NDP
colleagues on Council and others, including the Mayor, who are
considered to be progressive, seem ready to support this onerous ban.<o:p></o:p></font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><o:p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">The
practical implications of such a ban, that it will increase the
vulnerability of those homeless individuals who use the Square, forcing
them to move to less safe outdoor locations; that it will do zero to
address the root causes of homelessness; these have already been put
forth more eloquently than I could, in deputations by dozens of
homeless individuals and their advocates before Council’s Policy and
Finance Committee.<o:p></o:p></font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><o:p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">Beyond these
practical considerations, I believe that the symbolic implication of
such a ban, in the larger picture, poses a serious threat to our civil
community.<span style="">  </span>It shifts the onus of homelessness
from the economic and political leaders of our society – where it
rightfully belongs – onto the shoulders of those who already bear the
brunt of the social travesty of homelessness.<span style="">  </span>It
treats homeless Canadians as second class citizens, and it signals to
the general community that it is acceptable to trample on human rights
in order to sweep a problem under the rug rather than take steps to
resolve it, which in this case simply means the provision of adequate
affordable housing.<span style="">  </span>The housing strategy
proposal (“From the Streets into Housing”) before Council has some
laudable provisions, but it is seriously flawed in that its funding
proposals fall far short of the need, and does not provide for
mechanisms to guarantee that allocated funding is implemented.<span
 style="">  </span><o:p></o:p></font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><o:p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">But it is
the ban on “camping” on the Square that reeks of scapegoating and
prejudice.<o:p></o:p></font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><o:p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font></o:p></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">I think I
may have a better idea.<span style="">  </span>Instead of a ban that
would provide for the eviction, under the force of law and at the hands
of our police, of our homeless sisters and brothers from a public civic
area that should symbolize the human and democratic values of our
society; why don’t we enact a ban from the building that adjoins Nathan
Phillips Square against opportunistic politicians who advance their
careers by pandering to fear and bigotry? </font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman"></font></font></span> </p>
<span style="" lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman"><o:p></o:p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">Roger
Hollander<o:p></o:p></font></font></span></p>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><font size="3"><font face="Times 
New Roman">Toronto
Metro Councillor for Don River, 1987- 1994<o:p></o:p></font></font></span></p>
</font></font></span>
<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span style=""
 lang="EN-CA"><o:p><font face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font></o:p></span></p>
</div>
<div><font face="Arial" size="2">~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<br>
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I
was not a socialist.<br>
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because
I was not a trade unionist.<br>
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a
Jew.<br>
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.<br>
-Pastor Martin Niemoller</font></div>
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</body>
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