July 17th, 2024

Homelessness and housing emergency resolution passed by Edmonton city council

By The Canadian Press on January 16, 2024.

Edmonton city council has passed a motion declaring a homelessness and housing emergency, but the vote wasn't unanimous. Police negotiate with encampment residents and supporters during a stand off as police prepare to clear homeless encampments in Edmonton, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Edmonton city council has passed a motion declaring a homelessness and housing emergency, but the vote wasn’t unanimous.

The resolution was brought by Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, who says action has to be taken now because people are dying.

He wants to invite Alberta’s social services minister, the federal housing minister and the grand chief of the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations to discuss possible solutions at an emergency meeting.

Council also agreed to have city and community leaders team up and create a future vision, as well as raise money to help support social service efforts and reduce red tape related to housing and homelessness.

Some council members objected to the situation in Edmonton being labelled an emergency, with Deputy Mayor Aaron Paquette saying it sends a message that the city can fix the problem on its own, which he says is not realistic.

Police in Edmonton dismantled the last of eight homeless encampments last week deemed by the city to be high risk.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2024.

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