Today, the MNA representing Bourassa-Sauvé and Official Opposition Critic for Social Solidarity and the Fight Against Poverty, Ms. Paule Robitaille, as well as the MNA representing Mont-Royal–Outremont and Official Opposition Critic for the Metropolis Mr. Pierre Arcand, suggested aiming to end homelessness rather than manage it, and to make access to stable, healthy and safe housing the starting point, rather than the end point, for the social reintegration of homeless people.
To do so, the QLP proposes investing adequate sums to give community organizations and the professional social services teams with the resources they require to meet that challenge. The Liberal elected officials also want to invest in prevention and avoid thousands of at-risk families becoming homeless.
We can now see that COVID-19 has considerably reduced emergency shelters’ capacity and has dispersed homeless people into neighbourhoods that often lack the resources to assist them. What’s more, the data shows a resurgence of homelessness in Montreal in recent years, at a time when the face of homelessness is changing.
The current context puts forth an opportunity as well as a moral obligation to give ourselves the means to do everything that we can to help these people. That is why the Quebec Liberal Party thinks that the time is right to present its proposals to fight homelessness in the metropolis.
Housing first. That is the key to putting an end to homelessness. The recent signing of the housing agreement with the federal government will allow us to build the social housing that is needed. Social workers’ contributions will be also be essential to the success of this approach.
—Mr. Pierre Arcand, MNA representing Mont-Royal–Outremont and Official Opposition Critic for the Metropolis.
Putting an end to homelessness will be impossible if we don’t take upstream action to prevent it and prevent the difficult circumstances created by the pandemic from adding a huge contingent to the ranks of chronic homelessness. We also want to reiterate the opposition’s demand for temporary emergency aid for the most at-risk households.
—Ms. Paule Robitaille, MNA representing Bourassa-Sauvé and Official Opposition Critic for Social Solidarity and the Fight Against Poverty.