Friday, December 03, 2010

Mayor "Robbie" Ford thinks the homeless should be left to the tender mercies of the Toronto Police

Yes, the Toronto Police, that loving and caring organization....

Rob Ford’s suggestion on a radio show that homeless people should be forcibly swept off the streets during bouts of cold weather drew skepticism and ire from poverty activists Thursday.

Speaking to John Oakley in the morning, Mr. Ford weighed in on the dangers of wintertime homelessness by indicating people “shivering on a grate” should be moved into shelters.

“We can’t leave people out on the sidewalks freezing to death. I’m sorry. I’m going to tell the social workers, get them off the street, get them into a shelter,” Mr. Ford said.

When the radio host seemed surprised at the suggestion of force, Mr. Ford replied: “What are you going to do?… I’m not going to walk by someone shivering on a grate when it’s -20 out. That’s just inhumane. And if I was like that, I’d want someone to pick me up and say, OK, here’s a warm bed, we’ll take care of you.”

While “you can’t force anyone to do anything,” Mr. Ford later told the National Post, he would “work with social services” to get people off the streets during frigid winter months.

“I can’t have people in our city dying on the streets in the freezing cold,” he said.

Toronto police have the exclusive authority to force homeless people off the city’s streets, and even then, only in extreme circumstances, such as when a life is at risk.

“It’s very situational as to what powers we have and when they can be used,” Toronto police spokesman Wendy Drummond noted.

One wonders that the magic temperature is that will trigger the "sweep". -5? -10?....

Read more here.

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