Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

On Friday, a homeless person was found dead in a city park.

Homelessness: St. Stephen declares state of emergency, government blame the community

Public Safety Minister Kris Austin plans to rescind the state of emergency declared in St Stephen.

  • Michel Corriveau (View profile)Michel Corriveau

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New Brunswick Public Safety Minister Kris Austin intends to rescind the state of emergency imposed by the mayor of St. Stephen on Monday evening following the death of a homeless person in recent days.

[The state of emergency] will end [Wednesday] at the end of the business day if they cannot prove to me with data that it falls under the definition of state of emergency. x27;emergency, declared Minister Austin on Tuesday afternoon.

But the minister's position is clear. This is certainly an extreme and rare measure, very disappointed that the mayor took this route.

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Shelter for a homeless person in St. Stephen , in New Brunswick.

Kris Austin accuses St. Stephen Mayor of playing politics with homelessness.

We need to put this game aside politics that played out last night and let's get down to real work, how can we help people who are in the street, launched the minister.

St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern said he was surprised by Minister Austin's exit. I am not satisfied with the answer, he said.

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The mayor is concerned about the priority that Minister Austin seems to have given himself. It's all about how to get out of this situation, an emergency order, instead of saying, what can we do to make things better, is there anything else? something that we can examine, or are starting to work on the problem, he laments.

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Allan MacEachern, the mayor of St. Stephen, deplores the exit of Ministers Austin and Green, in Fredericton.

Allan MacEachern reiterated that the importance was to find a solution to accommodate homeless people in St. Stephen, as quickly as possible.

I don't want to make this a political thing, I just want to draw attention to the serious problem we are in that requires action, he said.

In the Legislative Assembly, Opposition Leader Susan Holt strongly denounced Minister Kris Austin's comments.

I think it's disgusting, we have a community where someone has died, and we have a council asking for help, which is in a crisis, and this government wants to tell them that it's over the top, when he should tell them what you need, how we can help you, says Susan Holt.

The minister of Social Development and head of the Housing Corporation, Jill Green, took direct action on the local community.

We need the community to collaborate with us, and I think we could see [Monday] night that it's not feeling very collaborative.

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The Minister responsible for Housing, Jill Green.

According to Minister, the government is ready to set up shelters for homeless people in St. Stephen. However, according to the minister, the attitude of many in the small town of 4,500 people prevents us from moving forward.

We explored twenty different properties with the people of this community to find an emergency cold weather location for unhoused people. They were refused for various reasons, most of them being not in my backyard, she laments.

There reportedly has between 70 and 100 homeless people in St. Stephen.

These homeless people deserve our care and we need to think about how we can support them, and stop thinking about what is happening in our backyard, the minister reiterated.

Mayor MacEachrn recalls that the municipality had identified land to install the shelters.

We had a property on hold, and they deemed it unsuitable and we haven't yet gotten any details on why, he said.

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Susan Holt, leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Party.

I am stunned that the minister stands up and blames the people of St. Stephen, said the Liberal leader.

According to Susan Holt, the government had ample time to prepare before winter and the current crisis struck.

I hear the residents of St. Stephen has been speaking about this issue for many months, and even last year.

The director of the R.A.D.O. workshop. in Edmundston addresses this complex issue in an interview with Téléjournal Acadie.

Yves Sévigny, director of the R.A.D.O. workshop

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