Pride Toronto is deeply troubled by the inaction of all levels of government in addressing the long-standing issues of homelessness, and related issues, including affordable housing, mental health and addiction services, educational and employment supports, and food security.
These issues have adversely impacted the most vulnerable and marginalized people in the City of Toronto – many of whom are members of the 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized communities – and these impacts have been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pride Toronto stands in solidarity with the people living in the many encampments across the city and denounces any form of extreme force or violence to remove them. Toronto Police Services must not and can never be part of the response to addressing homelessness in Toronto. We cannot police ourselves out of Toronto’s homelessness crisis.
The treatment of people who are experiencing homelessness, precarious housing, and mental health and addiction struggles requires a compassionate response, and any approach to address these issues must always centre the values of human rights, dignity, and respect. We must put an end to criminalizing vulnerable communities and implement meaningful anti-poverty solutions.
We need bold leadership from all levels of government to address the deep socio-economic disparities that exist in Toronto and across the country. Pride Toronto calls on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, Mayor John Tory and elected members across all levels of government to treat every Torontonian with the respect and dignity that they deserve, and implement solutions that prioritize shifting resources towards affordable housing and community-based health and social services.