THE Community summit on homelessness The conference, which will take place in the capital on September 15, will be chaired by Quebec Mayor Bruno Marchand.
• Also read: Homelessness: Marchand criticizes the government’s inaction
The event, organized by the Union of Municipalities of Quebec (UMQ), will address a growing problem in the province.
“The phenomenon is increasing in cities where there are none [avait pas d’itinérance]» explains Mayor Marchand in an interview with TVA Nouvelles.
In his opinion, efforts must be made in cooperation between the various authorities.
“We can’t say it’s someone else’s fault, but we need to work better with the government, the CISSS and the CIUSSS,” he says.
Mr. Marchand says he is still waiting for the fall 2022 numbers.
“The minister promised that we will have them for the UMQ summit. If we don’t have numbers, we can just follow our intuition.”
He adds that these are necessary to specifically address needs and monitor the evolution of the situation after concrete measures are taken.
Quebec’s mayor says prevention plays an important role in curbing the problem.
“We often hear that homelessness comes from somewhere else,” he says.
In Vancouver: “[des experts] measured the journey of homeless people and found that more than 80% were from Vancouver and the region. It’s not true that homelessness comes from somewhere else,” he continues.
Rather, they are “people from our area who are weakened by housing problems, mental health problems and others”.
“Citizens are not intolerant, it is difficult to live in such contexts,” complains Mr. Marchand.
“I refuse to give up as a Quebecer! This is unacceptable!” said the mayor, determined to stop the problem.
During his stay in Finland, Bruno Marchand realized that there are solutions and that it is possible to restore the situation.
As an example, it is said that 20 years ago Finland was struggling with 36,000 homeless people and today there are 3,500. The Scandinavian country hopes to reach net zero by 2027.
“We are no stupider than the Finns!” he says.
Watch the full interview in the video above.