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  • Homelessness is a public health crisis. Ontario must treat it like one.

GUELPH — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to growing calls to declare homelessness a public health emergency across Ontario.

“We cannot continue to sit idly by while unhoused community members across Ontario risk their lives struggling to stay warm.

With shelters operating at capacity and limited access to warming centres, many are forced to take refuge in unsuitable public spaces or to freeze outside – leading to countless preventable cold-related injuries and even deaths.

This is an emergency, and we need to treat it accordingly.

Everyone deserves to have a safe, affordable place to live. But the Premier has demonstrated that he will not provide the resources or the leadership needed to adequately address the homelessness crisis.

I am calling on the Premier’s government to immediately declare homelessness a public health emergency across Ontario and commit to solving it through investments in affordable and permanent supportive housing.

It must also reverse past downloading decisions that have put unsustainable financial burdens on municipal budgets and recommit to funding 50 per cent of shelter and community housing costs while allowing municipalities to maintain management control.”

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