500 signatures reached
To: City of Kingston
City of Kingston - No Forced Evictions at Belle Park
We were surprised to learn the city plans to evict the people camping at Belle Park on Montreal St. If the province has halted evictions during the pandemic, why is the city evicting these people?
Given the city’s longstanding affordable housing shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unsurprising that people are living at Belle Park. As Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur for Housing reports “encampments are a reflection of Canadian governments’ failure to successfully implement the right to adequate housing.”
We are people of Kingston urging you to halt all plans to unilaterally evict these people from where they are living. There has been no meaningful consultation with tent city residents on what they want and need, or where they can go. These people deserve safety, dignity, and a place to live where they can access services and healthcare, just as you or I do.
Instead, we call on you to proceed according to the United Nations protocols concerning homeless encampments in Canada. This includes engaging with residents in discussions about their future, ensuring that the rights and dignity of all residents are respected throughout the process, respecting the rights of Indigenous residents, and crucially, no forced evictions.
Everyone - whether or not they have a home - should have dignity, due process, and respect for their human rights.
Why is this important?
Everyone deserves to have a say in their future, dignity, and a safe place to live.
These are homeless people whose housing needs remain unmet by the city’s current shelter arrangements, which present high barriers for many people, including those who use alcohol or drugs, suffer from mental illness, or cannot manage the required two-week lockdown.
The city needs to work with them so that they can live safely - forced evictions will not provide a real solution, but more displacement, harm, and turmoil in our community.