Kévin died alone, on a bench last week in Montreal’s Cabot Square. According to street workers, he is the 14th victim since the Open Door shelter closed its doors in December of 2018. The MNA representing D’Arcy-Mc-Gee and Liberal Critic for Indigenous Affairs, Mr. David Birnbaum, believes that urgent action is required.
Yesterday, the Liberal MNA questioned the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Ms. Sylvie D’Amours, about the distress experienced by the Inuit population in Cabot Square. Last July, Mr. Birnbaum even requested a meeting with Ms. D’Amours to speak with her about the Résilience Montréal project.
This project offers a partnership between the Maison Benoit Labre, the Foyer Pour Femmes Autochtones de Montréal and the Nazareth Community, in order to provide a day clinic that would be open seven days a week. It could even be set up in the former Open Door location in St-Stephen’s Church.
The Résilience Montréal project would help save lives. A budget of $1 million is necessary for the project to come to fruition. The City of Montreal has already announced $600,000 in financial support.
This is the third time that I have questioned the minister to try to get her to understand that action is urgently needed. The first time was last May. The Minister told me then that she would ask her Deputy Minister to be briefed on the file. Now, after 14 deaths, is the Minister finally apprised of the situation? Time is running out, winter is coming. The Open Door welcomed 150 vulnerable people each week. Today these people find themselves without shelter.
–David Birnbaum, the MNA representing D’Arcy-McGee and Liberal Critic for Indigenous Affairs