Council was told security hired to prevent encampments wouldn’t make arrests. One councillor is questioning why city documents say otherwise.
There’s no set date for this summer’s camp, as there are campers there all year. But council directed city staff to work with community groups, the city’s parks committee and City Planning Board on a plan to put the camp up for a month or two.
The camps are illegal under the City of Mississauga’s zoning bylaws, and they are illegal under provincial law.
The City of Mississauga is now a co-op, meaning it’s no longer a municipal government and it’s an amalgamated municipality. That means it’s more accountable, said Coun. Tom Molynski.
“We have to respect the fact Mississauga is in a municipal government,” he said. “It’s up to all of us that I think is to actually make sure it’s more inclusive and respectful.”
As for the camp, Molynski said the city has no choice but to shut it down.
Council voted to ask staff to prepare a report for legal advice as to whether or not the camp can be closed down.
But, councillors say, staff have no mandate to close the camp.
Coun. John Sprovieri said council should ask staff whether or not they’ll need to enforce the camping laws to help people living there.
“If there’s a situation going on that’s not compliant,” he said, “then they shouldn’t keep it going, don’t give them money, and have it turn into a situation where there’s police sitting on their house and all sorts of situations like that.”
When it was voted on Tuesday, the motion to ask staff to prepare a report was defeated with 10 votes to 8.
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