BLAC and its coalition partners take the City of Toronto to Court over the shelter crisis

The Black Legal Action Centre and its coalition partners have filed a constitutional and human rights challenge against the City of Toronto today.

We are deeply concerned that the City continues to operate and oversee shelters that do not adhere to physical distancing standards. This endangers those who use the shelter system, and has forced countless others to set up tents and encampments outdoors, rather than risk going into spaces where there are already many people who have contracted the virus.

The result to date: 135 people confirmed with Covid-19 in 12 different shelters and respite sites. The City’s failure to protect homeless people in its over-crowded shelter and respite system in the face of the present reality discriminates against Black and Indigenous people, as well as against people living with disabilities, all of whom are overrepresented in the shelter system. The City’s conduct has endangered not only homeless people, but also shelter staff, healthcare workers, their families, and the broader community.

Coalition members also include: Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto, Aboriginal Legal Services, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, and HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario.

Read our application to the Court here.

BLAC and its coalition partners are grateful to the tremendous work of our pro bono counsel, Jessica Orkin, Louis Century, Geetha Philipupillai (Goldblatt Partners) & Andrew Porter (Lenzner Slaght).


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