Dismantling of the camp under the Ville-Marie highway: “a dialogue of the deaf”, notes the judge

Dismantling of the camp under the Ville-Marie highway:

The camp under the Ville-Marie highway Married.

The Government of Quebec and community stakeholders supporting homeless people who camp under the Ville-Marie highway are caught in “a dialogue of the deaf”, deplored Superior Court judge Chantal Masse on Tuesday. of Quebec.

The hearing between the Ministère des Transports (MTQ) and the Mobile Legal Clinic ended today and was taken under advisement. The Clinic is asking for the dismantling of the camp, located near Guy Street and Atwater Avenue, to be postponed until July 15 for major work.

“Either there is cooperation that is not true on one side or the other, or there is a huge misunderstanding,” Judge Masse found.

In addition, the MTQ will send a new eviction notice tomorrow, announcing a dismantling on April 12, announced its lawyers. Failing an agreement, the judge will render her decision in extremis upon her return from the Easter holiday, first thing Tuesday, April 11.

The CIUSSS du Centre-Sud -de-l’Île-de-Montréal has made various resources available to homeless people since the first eviction notice in November 2022, but the latter did not want the help offered, pleaded Me Marie Couture-Clouâtre , of the Attorney General of Quebec.

For his part, Me Éric Préfontaine, who represents the Itinerant Legal Clinic, reiterated that there was no “concrete approach or measure taken to promote housing or relocation.”

It's as if we were on two completely different planets.

Judge Chantale Masse, of the Superior Court of Quebec

Lawyers for both parties will meet this week along with campers, community workers and the CIUSSS, at the express request of Judge Masse. The magistrate invited the parties on several occasions to discuss in order to find a “quick” and “practical” solution outside the judicial framework. “My decision, whatever it is, will not resolve the situation definitively,” she stressed.

Resources are available, assure Quebec

Places in refuges are available for campers, argued Me Couture-Clouâtre. The CIUSSS and Projet Logement Montréal can also support homeless people in their efforts to obtain permanent housing if they wish, according to him. “We are not in a case where there is nowhere to go,” she added.

“We tried, and we still have the will to find a solution,” assured the lawyer.

In addition, a budget envelope is available to campers to help them pay rent, explained Me Couture-Clouâtre. “We've never heard of that,” retorted Me Préfontaine.

I'm convinced that it's a real desire, but can we move from words to deeds? This is where the shoe pinches.

Me Éric Préfontaine, lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, representing the Mobile Legal Clinic

Campers are “autonomous adults” and cannot be forced to receive help, reiterated Me Couture-Clouâtre. However, several of the campers said they wanted assistance to relocate in signed statements filed in evidence by the Mobile Legal Clinic.

Michel Chabot is one of the campers under the Ville-Marie highway . Met by Métro at the end of the hearing, he strongly doubts the will of the government to help the members of his community. “No one came to see me. I have cancer, and they didn't even come to see me,” he said.

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