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September 30, 2020

The City of Toronto breached the agreement to protect those experiencing homelessness, and we are taking them back to court on October 1. The City of Toronto is putting the lives of those experiencing homelessness as well as shelter workers at risk by failing to meet minimum physical distancing standards. As a result of this serious failure, our Coalition is taking the City back to the Ontario Superior Court for a hearing on October 1.

In its written legal argument, the Coalition relies on emails and other documents it obtained through the court process to show that senior managers within the City’s Shelter Support & Housing Administration had actual knowledge on June 15 that the City was not in compliance with its obligation under the Agreement. Nevertheless, on June 15, the City asserted to the Coalition that it had achieved 100% compliance with physical distancing requirements across the shelter system.

“The City of Toronto has breached its legal obligations to protect our most vulnerable residents. So far, there have been 45 COVID-19 outbreaks in the Toronto shelter system, 649 people who used shelters have contracted COVID-19 and four people have died, and we are all now bracing for winter and the second wave,” says Doug Johnson Hatlem of Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto. “The evidence in this case provides a troubling behind-the-scenes look into the City’s mishandling of COVID-19 in its homeless shelters.”

Read more about this case here.

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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