Toronto Ombudsman to investigate clearings of homeless camps – Toronto

Toronto’s ombudsman has launched an investigation into the city’s clearing of homeless camps this summer.

In the operations, police saw clashes with campers and their supporters and resulted in dozens of people being charged.

“We have received complaints that raised concerns about the city’s approach to draft evictions,” Ombudsman Kwame Addo said in a statement on Tuesday.

The city and police cleared four homeless camps in three parks this summer. At three camps, riot police officers were used to clear the premises of residents and their supporters.

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The ombudsman said his investigation will focus on how the city planned the clearings, engaged stakeholders and communicated with the public. The probe will also examine the policies and procedures that governed the city’s actions.

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The city said it would cooperate fully with the investigation.

“The city will ensure that the ombudsman gets the entire work area performed by the staff on this complex and important issue, as it worked to ensure that some of the city’s most vulnerable residents had access to safe indoor accommodation and services, while the parks were safe and accessible to all, ”spokesman Brad Ross said in a statement.

The city has long maintained that the camps were unsafe.

Toronto police have said they support city staff in camp clearing operations and carried out enforcement as a last resort.


Click to play video: 'Questions about police tactics during Toronto park throws'



Questions about police tactics during Toronto park expulsions


Questions about police tactics during Toronto Park Expulsions – July 22, 2021

Camps sprouted in many city parks when the pandemic hit in March 2020.

Hundreds fled the city’s shelters for fear of becoming infected with COVID-19. Many residents of the camp said they also left due to violence within the protection system.

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Data obtained by The Canadian Press shows a significant increase in violent incidents in Toronto’s housing system over the past five years.

The police accused dozens of charges after helping the city clear camps at Lamport Stadium, Trinity Bellwoods Park and Alexandra Park and after a subsequent protest on a police station.

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3 more arrested, 8 still wanted in connection with the clearing protest of the Lamport Stadium camp

The majority of the alleged offenses related to the offense. The force also charged several attack-peace officers.

Earlier this month, members of the homeless community and their supporters staged a protest outside Toronto Mayor John Tory in the city’s condominium, demanding an end to the clearing of camps and the imposition of infringement charges against those living in the temporary housing.

Several at the demonstration claimed they had been assaulted by police during the clearings and detained in police cars for hours.

The ombudsman said the office has no mandate to review the behavior of Toronto police officers.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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