Greater Sudbury bylaw officers evict homeless people from Memorial Park downtown
Published Tuesday, October 27, 2020 5:37PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, October 27, 2020 6:17PM EDT
SUDBURY -- Bylaw officers in Greater Sudbury were busy Tuesday afternoon, evicting homeless people in Memorial Park, ordering them to pack up their tents and belongings.
Greater Sudbury told CTV News that today's action comes after bylaw and community outreach staff visited the site several times in the past week trying to educate and connect individuals with resources available to them.
With police help, today's conversations between bylaw and park residents went smoothly. But some of the people affected by the move were not happy.
Craig Beddows is a regular at the tents in the park. He told CTV that on average, six people stay overnight and more gather throughout the day.
'Everyone is supposed to be treated as equal'
“The city needs to pull up,” said Beddows. “If this is our people, this is our people. We’re not supposed to discriminate. Everyone is supposed to be treated as equal. But that’s clearly not being shown.”
Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc said he has been working with Independent Living Sudbury and they have found a place for those who have been kicked out.
But, Leduc said, the place is a “temporary” spot.
City officials collected the belongings of those who were kicked out of the park, but Beddows said he doesn’t know what individuals will do with their personal belongings.
“There is a plan, but it is kind of up in the air right now,” he said.
Although today was tough for residents of the park, Beddows said there are people on their side.
“The people who are aware the homeless people are affected and that addiction is a disease -- the people who aren’t blind to this are very, very helpful, but the city (itself) have been no help at all.”
'Respectful and productive'
In a statement Tuesday evening, Greater Sudbury said the homeless were removed "in response to concerns about the well-being of people who had taken up residency in the park."
"Conversations between the groups were respectful and productive," the city's statement said. "Over the last week, bylaw and community outreach staff have visited the site several times to educate and connect these individuals with resources available to them.
"Additional support continues to be provided via community outreach services, helping to connect those wishing to obtain assistance with the appropriate services. This outreach will continue via various groups, throughout the week."