‘It is a crisis’ | Mayor Patrick Brown on homeless asylum seeker found dead in Brampton, Ont.



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My name is Patrick Brown and I’m the mayor of the city of Bramton and part of my duty as mayor of Bramton is I sit as part of the Region of Peel um and uh to deal with the challenges of homelessness we fund this facility here in Dundas um

In the history of Peele region we’ve dealt with homelessness and we’ve never had to turn anyone away until this year our shelter capacity is at 321 we have capacity for 500 we’re almost at500 municipalities cannot run a deficit we cannot run a deficit and so

We’re in a position like this um it is a crisis um you know we I’m joined by Community activists across the GTA who have been dealing with the pressures we’ve been facing since July with Asylum claimants largely from Africa in the range of 80% that have put a unique

Pressure um on our capacity uh to help those um facing adversity and what caused me to uh call this uh press conference today is yesterday we had a fatality and we’ve been warning senior levels of government since July this was going to happen that when you have and right now we have an

Average between on the low end of 46 to the high end of 150 Asylum claimants sleeping outside every night you know this in a country as prosperous as Canada and in a region as prosperous as the GTA um and Pele region it is beyond comprehension that we’ve allowed this to

Happen and when I got the news of a fatality yesterday my heart broke it sunk and you know we we’ve just heard excuses uh from other levels of government that help is on its way it’s it’s it’s going to come um but it hasn’t yet and what petrifies me and really um

Causes me to have a plea for help is the temperatures are about to get get colder and we’ve had a fatality when the weather is relatively um moderate on Friday night it’s going to go below zero we’re about to get into cold weather and when you have up to 150 people sleeping

Outdoors there will be more fatalities and that blood is on our hands if we don’t step up and help and knowing that municipalities legally are not allowed to run a deficit we’re calling on our partners and other levels of government particular C clearly the federal

Government um to to to help there are a proposal right now before the federal government um where they could help us mitigate this pending humanitarian disaster and that’s what it is there’s going to be um a number of fatalities if we don’t get that help um and I hope

That we’re going to um get that help uh as quickly as possible since July we’ve had three meetings with the minister of immigration citizenship and refugees all positive just 15 minutes ago I got a phone call from the minister saying that help is on its way um I believe he

Appreciates in a very honest way um the urgency of the situation uh but this cannot wait another month this cannot wait um weeks uh My worry is that next week if we don’t have uh help uh immediately we’re going to see fatalities in our region I felt that’s

Why it’s incumbent to speak out and share what I’m hearing I’m getting phone calls from Community organizations um whether it’s a local chch whether it’s a former um uh member of the provincial legislature and zayia whether it’s the uh Congress of a black women the calls

That I’m getting is that uh this is a crisis and so I’m calling uh for help um and I know there are those here today uh that want to share that um that plea I know the um acting mayor of Miss Saga Chris cona is here the local counselor

Uh DEA um We’re All in This Together I know the Canadian Big City Mayors has had a meeting with the minister we’ve had this discussion at the Ontario Big City Mayors but if this is not fixed um in days there will be fatalities and we have to recognize that

Brampton, Ont. mayor Patrick Brown says his ‘heart sunk’ after he heard that a homeless asylum seeker was found deceased on the street.

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